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The Hyperloop

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Sam Posten, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    (Reader beware: the "continue reading" link on the website goes to a 60 pg PDF.)I've read scant info and the official website has no info (unless I download and read a PDF novella), so maybe I'm way off base here.I don't know what to make of this. I'm watching the tail end of the Silver Line DC metro extension out here. I've been here one year and its already pushed out from 2016 to 2018 completion. Long-time residents tell me it's been in the works for 20+ years. It's a multi-billion dollar project. There's a distinct group who oppose it because of cost and politics. And it's nothing more than a 50mph metro line running down the median of existing highway. So let's imagine that with vacuum tubes and supersonic speeds (in california). It won't be built for 50+ years. And by then we'll have self-driving cars and buses rendering it obsolete.Even metro lines to the suburbs seem dubious given the cost. I love the idea of supersonic vacuum trains. But now as a middle-aged taxpayer...how is this a real consideration?
     
  3. Jay H

    Jay H Well-Known Member

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    I think Mr Musk has been watching too much Futurama! :)

    Jay
     
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  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Well, he says he's going to build the prototype himself now:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/hannahelliott/2013/08/12/latest-update-elon-musk-will-start-the-hyperloop-himself/

    But I'm with you, it doesn't seem practical. I'd have said the same thing about self driving cars not too long ago tho. I think we will see those in our lifetime and that will change everything. If you have fleets of cars on demand that can meet you at your doorstep wherever you are in the world in the future then car ownership would be an almost unnecessary luxury and pooling could be much more efficient, driving congestion way down.

    That forbes article confirms my thought tho, if you have ever been on the Aerosmith RocknRollerCoaster at Disney you have experienced the fundamental tech behind this: linear induction engines.
     
  5. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Premium
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    There simply doesn't seem to be much logic in the thought that self driving cars would make a Hyperloop obsolete.One is the idea of moving people at supersonic speed a great distance and the other is cars. Not really in the same league.
     
  6. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Not directly, no. And that wasn't my argument, I was saying that I thought we would never see self driving cars in my lifetime, not that self driving cars would make a hyperloop unnecessary.But if you get at the heart of the hyperloop argument it's being seen as faster than train/plane medium distance point to point travel. If self driving cars attain both goals of decreasing traffic and increasing cruise speed for cars those are going to make the limited case for train travel even further stretched and then the need for hyperloop travel is an even starker diminishing return.How often do people really need to travel city to city where a difference of a few hours travel time over what is available now justifies the billions of dollars in development costs? And it would likely kill the commuter air industry too among how many other collateral hits?I just don't see it.
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Gizmodo, of all places, says it better than I can:
    http://gizmodo.com/hyperloop-could-totally-work-but-will-it-ever-happen-1140527710
     
  8. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Premium
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    Sam my response was not directed at anything you posted but Dave's comment that self driving cars and buses would make a Hyperloop obsolete. To me that simply doesn't make sense because cars and buses could never reach the speeds projected for a Hyperloop.
     
  9. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Gotcha
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    See Sam's comment...
    Also: self-driving cars-->self-driving buses, even cheaper competitor for sci-fi trains. When I travel, I've got some considerations: cost, time, convenience. Flying is fast but expensive. Driving is cheap, but slow and inconvenient. Presently, trains are mostly a failure, being expensive and slow, but convenient. Automated road-vehicles, hypothetically with dedicated lanes e.g. HOV or EZ Pass lanes in urban expressways could be cheaper than flying, faster than trains, and very convenient. They would make "driving" a better choice to flying in more cases.And all this squeezes actual trains and even more sci-fi trains.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Footnote: trains should be awesome. The trans-continental railroad was an awesome undertaking and changed history. But a hyper loop will be a boondoggle. Let Elon Musk build it as a private businessman and that will be cool..
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  13. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    As time goes on, I become more and more grateful to Rick Scott for refusing to take federal seed money to start a high-speed rail project.

    Much as I would have LOVED to have a 45-minute train from West Palm to Disney World!
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Consumers are apparently already ok with the idea of self driving cars.http://www.autonews.com/article/20131105/OEM06/131109888/90-of-drivers-would-consider-self-driving-cars-to-save-on-insurance#axzz2jsOEwsBfWhat do you think the reduction in fatalities could realistically look like within 10 years of their mass scale introduction? 50%? 80? Greater than 90? That would go a long way. Not to mention the savings to your pocketbook that the above posits....Maybe we need a Self Driving Car thread sooner than we thought! =)
     
  15. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned

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    Ever been in our little scenic New England college town? We're so pedestrian-heavy, we have a law that pedestrians have the right of way on all Main Street at all times. We can tell right away anyone who's from out of town.

    And that's why Self-driving cars scare the crap outta me. At least you can explain it to an out-of-towner.
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I'd suspect the sensors would stop for all possible pedestrians in its vector, that's kind of the point.
     
  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'd like to see an info graphic by major metro region vs suburbs. Now that I'm in a heavy traffic, long-commute area, I'd bet this data is bimodal between those suffering long commutes vs easy. Because I'd be willing to pay more money for a self-driving car. :)
     
  18. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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  19. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Well-Known Member

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    Considering the shitty maintenance that occurs on major railroads today, the thought of riding a supersonic train holds no allure for me. Imagine a train accident at 1000+ Km/hr.
    If trains are so inconvenient, why have Europeans been able to make a go with them? From what I have heard the European passenger train system is quite good. Passenger service in NA is a disaster because governments are in thrall to the automotive industry. In fact, all levels of government have been in thrall to the corporate sector for years and that servitude has been a disaster for the creation and maintenance of national and regional infrastructure.
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Because European trains aren't inconvenient compared to other Eurpoean travel options? :)But trains in the US are every bit as inconvenient as I described them. And I estimate getting self-driving cars is more probable than fixing the American rail system.
     

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