Elon Musks Wants to Give Texas a Hyperloop and Pod Races

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Another day, another crazy plan from Elon Musk that we’d all love to see become reality. This time it’s his Hyperloop transit system which he hasn’t talked much about since he first revealed the details of his idea back in 2013. Mind you, that’s not because he doesn’t have faith in the plan, but because he has other stuff to do. Being a brilliant rich guy puts demands on your time. Just ask Tony Stark.

The idea behind the Hyperloop is to create tubes through which pressurized pods would shoot at speeds that make anything you’re driving today look like a horse and buggy. We’re talking up to 4,000 MPH and a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco in all of 35 minutes.

These pods would hold 6 passengers each and could move through tubes both above and below ground, all depending on the route and what was in their paths. The tubes would be kept in partial vacuum to reduce air resistance and the pods would actually ride on a cushion of air. This tech won’t come cheap with estimates for building that Los Angeles to San Francisco tube coming in at around $6 billion. That’s a number that might make even Elon Musk blanch.

Now, Musk is talking about plans to build the first Hyperloop test track which he says will find a home in Texas, according to his recent tweets.

They aren’t any details on exactly where in Texas, how much it will cost, or when this might begin construction, but it confirms that the idea is definitely not dead. Musk seems to be moving ahead despite the plan being several years old now. Not only does he want this test Hyperloop to be something that other companies and students can use as a learning tool, he wants it to be the home of annual pod races.

That sounds just a little bit frightening. Racing is not easy and it’s not something for those without a lot of nerve and some serious skill. Professional racers have accidents all the time and some of them lose their lives. Let’s for just a second think about putting students, likely college kids, in a bunch of pods on a hyperloop going 4,000 mile an hour.

Although, you have to admit, seeing what kind of crazy ideas a bunch of college kids could devise given enough time would be pretty amazing. Maybe the next brainy billionaire will be getting his start on a Hyperloop test track in Texas.

Nicole Wakelin

Nicole Wakelin

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