So Elon Musk has announced basic plans to try and make what he’s calling a hyperloop. Basically it would be an enclosed, high-speed transit system designed to get people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about a half hour or so. It’s an interesting concept, and one that I can almost guarantee will never actually happen.
First off, California is already planning a high-speed rail line that will do the same basic thing in about two-and-a-half hours. It isn’t nearly as fast, true, but it does have the advantage of being proven technology.
Second, we lack the ambition to experiment in this country. I’m sure Musk and pals will create a test track and they’ll have all sorts of fun playing around on it, but I strongly, strongly doubt the funds necessary to build something this risky on a large scale just won’t happen. All you need ot do is look at the Solyndra “controversy” to know how jumpy people are about experimental technologies.
Now that’s not saying that I think it’s a bad idea, though it does sound lack the number of people per hour would be very low. I do like the concept overall, and I’d like to see it come to pass, but I just ain’t holding my breath on this one.