Sunday, July 21, 2013

HyperLoop Revealed: Elon Musk on Transportation and Energy: Oxford Martin School lecture (November 2012)

UPDATE: August 12, 2013

An artist's impression of the Hyperloop podElon Musk has unveiled his bold idea for revolutionizing global transportation. Is this a real possibility? As has been said, Elon has a rather formidable resume on succeeding with his ideas. I have watched a couple of different videos and as he likes to have put it; it is a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table. This represents the fifth mode in transportation development from boats to trains to cars to planes.

The drive is Elon's focus on developing more efficient systems, as he has done with PayPal and Tesla. The last straw was California's proposed high speed rail at a cost of $70B. Elon calls is expensive, slow, and inefficient. Today, we learned a few more details of the HyperLoop ~ well ok, its 60 pages! The brief start with an up front simple language summary, followed by a more detailed view for the technically inclined. It is a little Jetsons like, but with some engineering and design features well within today's capacity and capability.

When you listen to him speak, his manner is constant and consistent - he clearly expresses his ideas, and why he thinks that way. He has a laser focus on the benefits to be achieved. In this application, speed, safety, and low cost are highly priorities. Elon also includes convenience, weather, sustainability, and other advanced engineering principles as factors in design and operation. Then he starts talking about overcoming the Kantrowitz limit, prefabrication, orbital seam welders, and solar self-powering propulsion and that's the Introduction. Well worth a full read (HERE).

ORIGINAL POST: July 21, 2013
Elon Musk is a adventurous visionary pioneer.  This is well worth the time to listen and learn a little about how Elon thinks.  He discusses analogous versus first principle thinking.  He has two long term and broad objectives - improve production and consumption of energy & the extension of life beyond earth.  He thinks that sustainable habitation of Mars is possible.  He talks of SpaceX, Tesla, and a variety of other subjects.    The Q&A is most worthwhile.  Enjoy!