I’m back in the USA as of lunchtime today. Some of you may have heard about the big announcement while I was away, but I wanted to put in my two cents anyway. Elon Musk, the co-founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors, posted a 57-page “alpha design” plan on his blog that details how the high-speed train would work. He was referring to the Hyperloop, the new super-speed transport that would take take people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes, at 800 miles an hour. I talked about the announcement of this innovation, that Musk promised on August 13th, a few weeks ago. Musk has been talking about this invention for over a year, in addition to his Space X project which promises to give Earthlings the opportunity to go planet hopping.
Apparently, there are still plenty of skeptics who feel Musk is a science fiction writer. Plenty of them took the recent disclosure from Musk as another opportunity to poo poo his ideas. High level executives at other types of transportation companies have a difficult time imagining people being transported through tubes in pods. Well respected engineers question the design, lwhile others say the entire proposed budget of $6 billion is a fantasy. Projects like building bridges or tunnels cost way more than that. A few cited the estimated $68.4 billion that the California High-Speed Rail Authority has budgeted for a high-speed rail.
I am not one who believes Musk is smoking something. I have seen too much innovation in the last ten years to question any new concept. I never thought my entire office would be operated from a mobile device, that I would have all of my newspapers and magazines rolled into one flat pancake that is backlit, or that I could type any question in the world into an electronic window and get it answered within seconds.