the hype about Hyperloop

Elon Musk comes to town
Elon Musk comes to town

This article makes an important point about the Hyperloop:

America has the means to reduce traffic and connect people to where they want to go in less time — but solving these problems entails politically difficult choices to shift travel away from cars and highways. Any high-tech solution that promises a shortcut around these thorny problems is probably too good to be true.

I can’t help but see an echo of the wishful thinking surrounding the EMDrive in the Hyperloop marketing campaign. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong.

Here’s the original white paper PDF from Elon Musk, and here’s a rather detailed critique by mathematician and transit analyst Alon Levy. Anyone who takes Hyperloop seriously should read both.

2 thoughts on “the hype about Hyperloop”

  1. Hyperloop will dominate when you can take your car with you in one of the cars (like you can with a ferry.)

  2. That article you linked to is from 2013, and from the tone of the article it is very condescending towards Musk. It’s kinda funny to skim over it in retrospect. Now 4 years later Musk/Tesla has created the world’s fastest accelerating car (Model S P100d, 0 to 60 in 2.28 seconds), has the highest single-day commitment of cars with the Model 3 and Model X having advanced sales of over $40 million without any advertising which is a record. All from a guy selling cars without going through dealerships (which Alan mocked him for). Tesla’s worth has quickly grown to overtake Ford and is close to GM. Not to mention his other company, SpaceX, which is making technological history with it’s Falcon reusable rockets but enough of that.

    The article constantly compares the hyperloop to conventional trains and their limitations. The hyperloop is not a train so quoting train limitations in respect to lateral/vertical acceleration, canting, banking, 2% climb and the like is not applicable and is stupid in itself. Also the Barf argument is laughable, considering that the pod inside the hyperloop can be maneuvered and located wherever inside the tube to minimize discomfort to passengers. Alan like so many others are stuck in 2D Train/Car World, instead of thinking in 3 dimensions.

Leave a Reply