Aug 12 - Elon Musk reveals his Hyperloop futuristic transport system- that he says can transport people from L.A. to San Francisco in just 30 minutes at a fraction of the cost of a plane. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Like a scene out of the popular show Futurama- with people transported by giant tubes- Elon Musk's idea for what he has dubbed the Hyperloop is a solar-powered city-to-city elevated transit system. People would ride in aluminum pods inside steel tubes and travel up to 800 miles per hour. A trip from LA to San Francisco- about 30 minutes. Joshua Schank is president and CEO of the Eno Center for transportation: SOUNDBITE: JOSHUA SCHANK, PRESIDENT AND CEO, ENO CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION (ENGLISH) SAYING: "If this were able to be constructed at the cost he claims and if politics and environmental challenges didn't enter into it, it would be a fantastic way of using that technology and it would tap into a new market and provide tremendous benefits for travelers." This latest Musk project adds to his growing mystique as a tech guru- shares of his Telsa luxury electric car company continue in overdrive. He's also Chairman of solar panel company Solar City- and has space travel company SpaceX. Musk was also the guy behind Pay Pal. Musk revealed the Hyperloop in a 57 page design plan - claiming it would be safer, faster, and cost less than California's planned high-speed rail system. Musk estimates the Hyperloop could be built for $6 billion for the people-only pods- $10 billion for pods that can also hold cars- but Schank is skeptical: SOUNDBITE: JOSHUA SCHANK, PRESIDENT AND CEO, ENO CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION: "The estimates I've seen for this seem really low to me for a system that requires rights of way though major metropolitan regions which this one does. Even when you build an elevated, say an elevated train which we do all the time in transportation, there are substantial costs to that in terms of right of way and there are always environmental lawsuits challenging your ability to try to construct such rights of way because people don't always want such elevated things whizzing by their houses." Musk is asking the public for help in improving the design- and says it is an open source concept for anyone to help bring to reality.