Elon Musk wants to revolutionize transportation. Again. The serial entrepreneur envisions a future where mag-lev trains in enormous pneumatic tubes whisk us from Los Angeles to New York in 45 minutes. Need to be in Beijing tomorrow? No problem. It’s a two-hour ride away. As crazy as it sounds, Musk is merely updating an idea that’s been around since the early 1900s, and at least one company is working on a functional prototype. But according to Wired sources, his involvement won’t be nearly as hands-on as Musk’s other endeavors at Tesla Motors and SpaceX. The engineering behind the Hyperloop is similar to the old-school pneumatic tube systems used by banks to suck your deposit to the teller at the drive-through. But naturally, it’s more complicated than that. A massive vacuum tube – mounted either above ground or even under water – would be combined with a magnetic levitation system used on conventional bullet trains.
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