How Elon Musk plans to travel from San Francisco to L.A. in only 30 minutes

The entrepreneur behind PayPal and SpaceX is now throwing around an idea for a "fifth mode of transportation."

Planes, trains and automobiles are so pass at least in the eyes of visionary, if not sometimes out-there, entrepreneur, Elon Musk.

The billionaire founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX is now looking to expand his empire with a "fifth mode of transportation." Dubbed "the Hyperloop," the notional vehicle would allow people to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in only 30 minutes flat.

Much like proposed vacuum trains, Musk says the Hyperloop would whisk passengers back and forth at speeds higher than bullet trains and even aircrafts.

Speaking to Sarah Lacey at a PandoDaily event in Los Angeles, Musk explained:

This system I have in mind, how would you like something that can never crash, is immune to weather, it goes 3 or 4 times faster than the bullet train... it goes an average speed of twice what an aircraft would do. You would go from downtown LA to downtown San Francisco in under 30 minutes. It would cost you much less than an air ticket than any other mode of transport. I think we could actually make it self-powering if you put solar panels on it, you generate more power than you would consume in the system. There's a way to store the power so it would run 24/7 without using batteries.

So could we soon be beating highway traffic with the Hyperloop? While Musk is currently only floating ideas around, the eccentric entrepreneur has been known to turn seemingly outlandish ideas into reality.

"Yes, this is possible," Musk told a dubious Lacey. "Absolutely."

[via The Atlantic]

Image: Wikimedia Commons

This post was originally published on