Two Startups Are Fighting to Build the First Hyperloop
The race is on between two LA startups to develop a revolutionary form of transportation called Hyperloop. So what's a Hyperloop?
Hyperloops are transportation tubes that would employ train-car sized capsules that would travel hundreds of miles an hour propelled by air pressure, electricity and magnetism. It would essentially suck the tubes while suspended in air, almost like a vacuum cleaner.
The idea was hatched by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who opened up his plans two years ago and invited others to take charge. Two of the companies that took up the offer have the same ultimate goal but are taking different paths to achieve it. (Here's a 2013 video detailing how the Hyperloop can take you from LA to San Francisco in 35 minutes.)
Hyperloop Technologies is taking a more traditional approach with full-time employees, big-name advisers and an influx of venture capital. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) has taken a crowdsource approach to design and development with most of its workers serving as part-time consultants without salaries. Elon contends that if the idea works, it could bypass high-speed rail in terms of speed and be more resource-efficient than electric cars. [IBA]