By Henry Phillips
on 8.14.13

What do you do once you’ve made your own electric car and founded the first private company to make a delivery to the International Space Station? You come up with a method for long-distance subsonic mass transit, duh. Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept aims to deliver passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a scant 35 minutes while still managing to be cheaper, safer and more environmentally conscious than existing transit options.

Musk’s idea is a response to California’s latest plans for a high-speed rail between its two major cities, which he deemed too inefficient, expensive, and slow. In an interesting move, Musk decided to open-source the Hyperloop idea because he’s (understandably) a little preoccupied. There are tons of barriers to Hyperloop becoming a reality: physics questions on things like heat buildup and transitions between tube and station, and even harder issues, like political inertia and the fact that there’s nobody who’s crazy enough to try and build this thing. That being said, it’s a bold idea and a laudable use of Musk’s time, money and brainpower. We’d love to see it exist one day. Actually riding in it? …Maybe. We break down the cross between a Hot Wheels set and an air hockey table above.

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