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. Yes, this is possible, absolutely.
LA Times talks to Elon Musk in an interview. California high speed rail is starting up, but you’ve proposed an alternative — maybe solar-powered, maybe on a pneumatic track — you call the hyperloop?
I’ve got to find the time to write up the details. I’m going to put it on a blog and open-source the idea. Why are we, in the center of high tech, doing such a bad job [with high-speed rail]? It’s embarrassing. It says all sorts of wrong things about our state. I was thinking about what could be better, state of the art? That’s where I came up with the idea for a fifth mode of Earth transport, apart from planes, trains, automobiles and boats. The hyperloop could go from city center to city center in not much more than a half-hour.
Aeromovel blowers propel air (under low pressure) through a duct built into the guideway. The pressurized air pushes a propulsion plate attached to the bottom of the vehicle. This propulsion plate acts like an upside down sail, propelling the vehicle forward and helping to stop it when the air flow is reversed.
Air propulsion eliminates the problems of heavy rail traction; wear on wheels and tracks is reduced to a minimum.
Acceleration and deceleration are smooth and efficient; traction noise and vibration are minimized; vehicle speed can reach 80 km per hour (50 mph) in urban applications.
The combination of pneumatic propulsion and non-axle wheel design permits AEROMOVEL® vehicles to climb steep gradients up to 12% and traverse sharp curves with a radius as low as 25 meters (82 Feet).
The vehicle is driven by a pneumatic propulsion system which converts electrical power into air flow and transmits thrust directly to the vehicle without gears or intervening electric circuits.
Stationary electrical blowers, located close to the passenger stations produce the necessary pressurized air, which is generated according to the desired vehicle acceleration rate and speed.
Excellent system reliability is achieved by using these sturdy, proven industrial components.
The power propulsion units are completely contained in sound-insulated housing units.
The variable speed motors increase efficiency and minimize any loss of energy.
Large, powerful motors provide AEROMOVEL® with a wide range of air movement capability, while keeping the cost of operation and maintenance at a minimum.
The stationary power propulsion units reduce wear and allow simple and efficient maintenance, because they are separated from the moving vehicle.