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The Hyperloop


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#1 of 25 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted August 12 2013 - 12:44 PM

Looks like all the leaks and speculation were right.  It's ambitious in ways and completely unformed in others:

http://www.spacex.com/hyperloop


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#2 of 25 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted August 12 2013 - 06:30 PM

(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 of 25 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted August 13 2013 - 05:20 AM


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.

 

 

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

 

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#4 of 25 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted August 13 2013 - 06:00 AM

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?

 

Well, he says he's going to build the prototype himself now:

http://www.forbes.co...erloop-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.


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#5 of 25 OFFLINE   Patrick_S

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Posted August 13 2013 - 10:50 AM

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 of 25 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted August 15 2013 - 05:56 AM

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.

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#7 of 25 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted August 15 2013 - 09:11 AM

Gizmodo, of all places, says it better than I can:

There needs to be a serious conversation about whether the Hyperloop is even something that people need or want. In order for people to embrace high-speed transit it's got to be some combination of cheaper, faster, and more comfortable than what came before it. That's why high-speed transit works in Europe, and it's Hyperloop's only chance of succeeding here.

Currently, driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles ain't cheap; figure $50 depending on gas prices and fuel efficiency. If Musk can pull off the Hyperloop for $105 a ticket like he says he can, it would be competitively priced, but not overwhelmingly so given that an hour-long flight from SF to LA costs under $200, day of. According to King, Hyperloop may be the solution to a problem no one actually has: "It's not all that clear that time-saving is all that big of a deal. It's not that hard to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles."

http://gizmodo.com/h...ppen-1140527710

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#8 of 25 OFFLINE   Patrick_S

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Posted August 15 2013 - 09:24 AM

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 of 25 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted August 15 2013 - 05:48 PM

Gotcha


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#10 of 25 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted August 15 2013 - 06:41 PM

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.

  
See Sam's comment...

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.

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 of 25 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted August 15 2013 - 06:45 PM

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 of 25 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted August 16 2013 - 08:22 PM

http://pedestrianobs...n-entrepreneur/

Long, detailed critique of the hyper loop. I'm still reading it, skimming details. But it's persuasive.

#13 of 25 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted August 20 2013 - 06:57 AM

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!


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#14 of 25 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted November 06 2013 - 11:39 AM

Consumers are apparently already ok with the idea of self driving cars.
http://www.autonews....e#axzz2jsOEwsBf

What 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! =)

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#15 of 25 OFFLINE   Ejanss

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Posted November 06 2013 - 01:49 PM

Consumers are apparently already ok with the idea of self driving cars.
http://www.autonews....e#axzz2jsOEwsBf

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 of 25 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted November 06 2013 - 03:18 PM

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

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#17 of 25 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted November 06 2013 - 06:01 PM

Consumers are apparently already ok with the idea of self driving cars.
http://www.autonews....e#axzz2jsOEwsBf

What 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! =)

 

 

Nine of 10 licensed drivers would consider buying a self-driving car if it meant paying a lot less for insurance, a new survey by consumer Web site CarInsurance.com says.

 

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 of 25 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted January 02 2014 - 07:57 AM

Hmmm....
http://blogs.mathwor...op-not-so-fast/

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#19 of 25 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted January 02 2014 - 08:46 AM

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.

 

  
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.

 

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.


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#20 of 25 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 02 2014 - 04:39 PM

If trains are so inconvenient, why have Europeans been able to make a go with them?

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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