Elon Musk is busy venturing out into literal Outer Space and developing one of the most rapidly-advancing autonomous vehicle systems, so he doesn’t have time to worry about his faster-than-rail moonshot hyperloop idea. That’s why a company called Hyperloop One is doing it. Now they want to take the cars, and put them in the tube.
Andrew J. Hawkins of The Verge spoke with Hyperloop One’s John Giegel and Nick Earle, co-founder and president of engineering and senior vice president in charge of global field operations, respectively.
The discussion revealed that Hyperloop One’s people have been meeting with autonomous vehicle chip manufacturers Nvidia and Intel as well as McLaren, in a “realistic effort” to marry the concepts of autonomous cars in our supposed-near-future with the vacuum-sealed super-fast hyperloop of our not-so-near-future.
From The Verge:
“The idea is you have a transmitter in your car,” Earle said. “As you approach the hyperloop, it would be like a fast pass on the freeway. So you actually get the ability to open the air lock and drive into the tube.”
In talking to these companies, Earle says he describes Hyperloop One as the WAN, or wide area network, of transportation that should be able to interface with all the local area networks, or LANs. “We want any autonomous vehicle to go into our system,” he said.
Of course, all of this is just Good Ideas until the public warms to the thought of cars not being driven anymore, and then also adjusts to being slung through a vacuum at hundreds of miles-per-hour.
Hyperloop One is planning its first full-system test in the next few months. It also has to face a nasty lawsuit with one of its co-founders, secure financing—with company estimates currently at $11.5 million per mile, according to The Verge, convince an international body of lawmakers, land owners, locals, and public that this is indeed a good idea, and not experience any sort of major setback like a catastrophic test.
They do have Brent Callinicos on board, who helped make Uber the valuable tech giant it is today. It’s also one that cant stop hemorrhaging cash.
Hyperloop One is eyeing locations in Europe, Moscow, Los Angeles and bullshit-project-capitol-of-the-world Dubai to implement its tubular transport, and ignoring all of the doubt and worry in my heart, I’d totally be down for some super-duper-future-trains.