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Elon Musk's hyperloop could revolutionise public transport | The Economist

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by Kivi

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09.03.2020



Elon Musk’s Hyperloop technology has the potential to revolutionise the way we travel. In a contest he held in Los Angeles, some of the world’s brightest engineers gathered to find the best way to make this billionaire’s pipe dream a reality.

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Elon Musk, the billionaire behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX, wants to revolutionise public transport. In 2017 he held an event at SpaceX’s California headquarters showcasing the latest technology for what he believes is the future of intercity travel. An entirely new transport system, called Hyperloop.

“What this is all about is advancing the state of transportation; trying new things that have never been done before that can make an incredible difference to peoples lives.”

But is Hyperloop ready to usher in a new age of mass transit or is it just a billionaire’s pipe dream?

In 1829 a competition was held to find the best locomotive engine for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, in northern England. George Stephenson’s Rocket won first prize, posting a top speed of 38km per hour. Widely credited as the world’s first steam locomotive the Rocket transformed how people travelled between cities.

Almost two centuries on, Musk is hosting the modern-day equivalent of that competition and teams of engineers from around the world have come to Los Angeles to compete, head-to-head. The aim is to bring Hyperloop one step closer to reality.

But what exactly is Hyperloop?

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