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Some movement on the HyperLoop idea

https://www.jumpstartfund.com/hyperloopmilestones.html

Two people with suitable track records are in charge. Musk is not associated with the project.

Demos in 2015 Q1?

I think it would be best to work with Disney (California Adventure Park), Six Flags, etc... and make a ride of some sort. Honestly, I don't know if they could make a 5 mile long loop, but as far as paying for the demonstration article and generating some immediate investor capital, I think this could be a great area from them to explore(if they aren't already).

Time will tell.

All these brilliant ideers about promotion are moot; TM is promoting by excelling in the real world. Gimmicks are unnecessary.

A hyperloop prototype by next yr. Q1 is planned, as "demo". That would be major.

I think the demo is everything. It is such a big deal in so many ways and with lots of untried technology. Investors and government will not get on board unless they see something zipping along and not ending in an 800 mph train wreck (sorry for the old school train terminology).

It might be that the demo is not going to be full sized. That is a lot to design and build in one year. Maybe the idea is to use small scale models and commercially available pipes, etc.

Print out the components?

Anyway, there is our future. Personal Tesla copters and cars for short trips, or leisurely drives, and HyperLoops for dinner in Paris and a cocktail in that hot new bar in NY on the way back. Interesting for sure.

carlgo;
As Elon has accurately remarked, the hyperloop is suitable for intermediate distances, not trans- or inter-continental travel.

I joined that group as a supporter back in November when there were only a handful of us. We have had zero meetings and zero communication. I am not too optimistic.

I am actually surprised that the oil companies have not proposed a hyperloop from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canandian Sand Tar fields as a means to get around the Keystone XL Pipeline legal issue.

Is San Francisco to LA the ideal route? Flat, reasonably straight, easy to get access.

Maybe Shanghai to Beijing would be feasible. 800miles, 200mph train at present.

Predictions on when the California High Speed Rail Authority will pull their heads out of their arses and stop working towards the bullet train plan and embrace Hyperloop instead?

My guess: 2017 after wasting billions of dollars

JZ13: It is up to the HyperLoop community to demo the technology in a way that begets contracts. Some sketches aren't enough to derail a program that has been underway for years and which uses technology that has been proven for decades. Build it and they will come. Otherwise it is just fun stuff to talk about, nothing more.

Brian H: Yes, you are right. I was thinking of the 4000 mph speed of vacuum tube technology, not the 800 mph of the partial vacuum HyperLoop envisioned by Musk. He thinks future supersonic or space plane airliners will be faster. He may be wrong about the economics and the speed in practice.

I think the best we can expect from a "demo event" in the next year is a table-top model that might actually be maglev.

I think as a country we've lost the ability to do large infrastructure projects. Anything that requires crossing a lot of land, like a train track or Hyperloop route, will spend literally decades fending off environmental and other lawsuits, and spend billions buying right-of-way.

We can't even build friggin' oil or gas pipelines any more; which leads to VOCs being transported by rail, with predictable results.

Politics, economics, and the resistance of various special-interest groups (enviros: you can't build this! Unions: you can't build this unless you use union labor! Etc.) turn potentially beneficial projects like California high-speed rail into useless political toys.

So: I don't expect to see Hyperloop. Ever. I'd like to be convinced otherwise...

Once the California "low speed" train is cancelled, then perhaps we can have a serious discussion about the Hyperloop from LA to San Francisco.

Hopefully the courts keep blocking them from starting construction due to funding gaps.

I bet if Elon put it on the ballot, Hyperloop would crush the train.

Dramsey;
The hyperloop is intended to run above existing rights-of-way.

Brian, I don't see how that makes any difference. They'll still need to file environmental impact statements, they'll still be sued to stop it (for whatever reasons), and the technical issues involved in building a large, partially-evacuated tubeway above an existing road, railroad track, or whatever, seem immense to me.

Of course the technical issues are the least important and most easily solved. Still, I think it's telling that Musk just tossed the plans out there for someone else to build.

@Dramsey, the political/union issues is why I suggested China (or Asia generally). I was in Taiwan recently and they were putting up a 60mile elevated highway, and building it in mile stretches, with every mile stretch being built simultaneously by different teams. It's probably already finished. They also prioritise national infrastructure needs above personal needs, which is important to keeping things running well.

@grega, good points. Maybe once someone else proves its possible, we'd see some action here.

Of course that's what I thought when RFID credit cards appeared over a decade ago, with their vastly better security. That's a pretty trivial thing and they're still like unicorn horns over here.

eh....RFID credit cards are rare? Really?

OTOH you could have better security without them, RFID as a protocol is inherently unsecure and can be read from distance. Copying a card is possible with right equipment from couple of meters. If the card has some security it would need some intelligence which isn't transmitted thru RFID.

Building this along existing transportation routes would not attract much environmental opposition, far less than the train and that was approved.

If the tests and economics are good it will attract private investment, minimize the role of government and not attract the anti-government side of things.

A good test would result in a vast amount of positive publicity and the public would be excited about the idea.

It could be the least opposed major project ever.

A tabletop HO gauge test would not be persuasive. A full-sized pipe and one "car" would not cost appreciably more than something say half-sized and could be incorporated in the the final project.

There is a jumpstarter and a kickstarter?

@carlgo, is the San Francisco to LA route sufficiently straight? Obviously if it's a nice smooth, barely turning road the whole way then it is a very good candidate to simply follow.

I joined the HyperLoop Systems group this past November. To date, and as far as I can tell, no tasks or milestones have been completed. A group meeting was in the works in November, but that never, to my knowledge, never materialized.

Not long ago I submitted a post for a 50K LACMA grant for the ART + TECH project in which SPACEX is a participating partner. This grant could be used to subsidize the demo, but I received minimal response from the "group" about pursuing this funding. So, as far as I can tell, there's very little happening tangibly on this front...but I do hope I'm wrong about that...

Thanks to the original poster for sharing that link. I wrote down my ideas on the hyperloop and emailed it to them in PDF format. I'd like to share it with you here, preferable a link to the PDF online, but I'm not sure of a neat way to do that. On the other hand, copy and pasting the text in a message would take a lot of room and might not even work if it blocks me. Any ideas?

@TeslaRocks
The Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. jumpstart project seems to be stalled, based on my experience and that of @blankenship.ann.

I would recommend emailing any technical feedback to hyperloop@spacex.com or hyperloop@teslamotors.com. I believe Elon's premonition of having to do it himself might come true.

If you would like to share your document with us, you could try uploading it to dropbox.com then posting the link here. The forum's spam filter seems to be tolerant of dropbox. I am not sure about other document sharing sites.

Thanks for the suggestion, PorfirioR. I hadn't thought of using Dropbox and I didn't know it could be used that way. That knowledge will be very useful to me in the future, so I can easily publish the madness I write. So here's the latest:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yv298zfbv6ctm55/Hyperloop_Feedback_Ideas.pdf

Yes, I emailed this to the hyperloop addresses. I hope someone still checks those mailboxes.

Anyways, I welcome your feedback to my feedback!

I didn't mention that in the text, but I suspect that square or rectangle would be a better inner tube shape than circle for these reasons:
-more stable because the tube, not just center of gravity, would keep the pod from flipping over,
-extending arms with skis on the end could reach for the for corners and a stretching tarp would be drawn between them and a stretching cable or rod on the perimeter, all much simpler than with a circle,
-the floor being flat instead of curved, spliting the tube into two could be done by arching the floor upwards in the center like is the case with many modern streets, so that the pod would naturally want to fall to the left or the right and would be unlikely to stay in the center for long,
-building a tunnel of variable diameter might be arguably easier as a square or rectangle than a circle.

In at least my vision of the hyperloop, it would be easy for Tesla to use it as part of its distribution pipeline for quick, simple, inexpensive, and reliable delivery. Wouldn't you like to pick up your brand new Model S (or X or E) at the nearest hyperloop terminal, knowing that it comes straight from the factory and can't have been damaged during shipping?

@grega:

Lots of straight sections on the various north-south highways, especially I5.But also lots of curves and elevation changes. The HyperLoop would have to cut corners, go through mountain tunnels and in some areas where curves would have to be tighter than idea there would have to be a speed limit so passengers wouldn't be terrified.

if this idea is to work it must not be reliant on perfect flat terrain, although of course the costs go up considerably through mountains and urban areas. Note that this is also true for railroads and freeways.

@carlgo

In my opinion high subsonic is probably too high a speed except maybe as a demo on the ideal path. Half the speed of sound is still crazy fast but is a lot more realistic (or less unrealistic). Going at half the speed of sound, for example, won't take that much longer, and this need not matter if comfort and convenience are maximized to the point of making any other travel method look spartan in comparison. Most people won't care if a trip takes twice as long to complete if they are enjoying perfect comfort the whole way, such as catching up on sleep or getting entertained. Would actually be quite fun: a little vacation inside a trip.

So the big opportunity with the hyperloop, in my opinion, is to improve mostly comfort, not so much speed.

PS: really slow earthly speeds would not work, though, as people would have the perception that they are not moving and would get mad. It must be fast enough so that the scenery flashes by you, so at least as fast as a race car.

It seems to me that the small version of the hyper loop would be significantly cheaper than the large one, though the estimates show it's not much different (so I have to accept I may be wrong!) :). The design of the hyper loop cars is made so that people don't get up - which allows for faster turns with safety, but prevents toilet breaks too, so the length of trip becomes important.

If you're going to slow down you add bathrooms and need walk ways. The hyper loop doesn't have windows either, and if you add those you change the nature and cost of what you're building. Also the fastest I've been on land is 260mph and the scenery doesn't flash by (though a train doing 260mph in the opposite direction is gone in a split second!). So you can add toilets, pathways, reduce speed and turning impact, add windows and increase the cost in various ways - and it doesn't get there much faster than a regular train. If all you do is improve comfort, then do it on a regular train right?

I originally believed a bigger sized hyper loop, slightly slower, was an easier way of getting acceptance through familiarity, but I now think breaking the expectations of people has a greater value, especially if thinner lighter tubes above freeways makes it more viable.


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