#culture /art & design


Elon Musk Says Hyperloop is Happening

Jul 21, 2017

Musk hanging out at Tesla factory back in 2011. Image via Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla (a.k.a the GOAT), has announced via his twitter that he received verbal government approval to build his long-awaited Hyperloop, a link that will connect New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC in under half an hour. To drive the same distance is currently around four hours.

So, what exactly is the Hyperloop? It’s a conceptual transit system that propels cars in pods through a system of tubes free of air resistance or friction. This alleviates ground traffic and increases transportation speed. It’s like that episode of the Simpsons where Springfield built a monorail which almost destroyed the town, but we have a good feeling about this one. 


The movement in his Hyperloop isn’t propelled by air pressure, but by two electromagnetic motors that will propel the pod forward on two skis, reducing friction. The design of the tubes also accounts for weather and earthquake, and solar powered. Well done Mr. Musk. The engineering aspect of the hyper loop is still in progress, but we hope to know final details in the coming months.

Musk added that the transit system will go from city centre to city centre, with up to a dozen or more entry and exit elevators in each area. 

Elon Musk's Hyperloop concept is a part of his side project 'The Boring Company'— which dedicates to destroy the 'soul-destroying traffic' by developing a three-dimensional traffic network to promote more efficient transportation.

Gary the Snail is The Boring Company's official office pet. Shoutout to whoever gets the reference.

To temper our expectations, he noted that this still required formal approval and that a lot of work is required. Nevertheless, he is optimistic that it will come through smoothly. The inventor has said that for him, this project is low stress, because “everyone expects it to fail”, in contrast to the breakout performance that Tesla and SpaceX have shown.

The Boring Company's 'Godot' tunnel drill— which is apparently slower than Gary.

It's important to note that Hyperloop's concept is open-source, meaning that you can pick up the blueprints, figure out how to build the Hyperloop, and build it. Musk does not plan on developing the Hyperloop wholly by himself, rather, he's providing the progress he made so far with bureaucratic negotiations and engineering as a jumpstart to the Hyperloop industry, in hopes that a company will bring the Hyperloop into life. Just two weeks ago, Hyperloop company 'Hyperloop One' pulled off its first successful test ride, providing proof of concept— a huge win.


Press secretary of New York City Eric Philips said that the city has no awareness of the verbal approval Musk mentioned, and has replied to Musk fans with invalidation (see his replies to the replies to his tweet). Though as the story develops, Electrek reported that the White House has confirmed talks with Musk and The Boring Company. 

So— will The Boring Company prevail? Or will it crumble like what critics say? Knowing Elon Musk’s track record with doubters, I’m siding with the Tesla CEO.

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Philson Choi