The Best Guess At How Elon Musk's Hyperloop Transit Fantasy Might Work

Earlier this week, Elon Musk announced that he would publish an alpha design for his crazy-sounding "Hyperloop" by August 12. According to Musk, the diagram above is as close as anyone has gotten to figuring out how the super-fast transit technology might work. And it seems bonkers.

For those of you who have been out of the, uh, loop, the Hyperloop is Musk's futuristic concept for a technology that would allow people to travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 30 minutes. Based on what we can surmise from Musk's statements, the plan is to stick people in a pod 2m wide and blast them through a vacuum tunnel until they get to their destination. The whole system would work like a "combination between a railgun and an air hockey table". That sounds... challenging. OK, sure!

Depending who you ask, the Hyperloop could work in a number of different ways, but since Musk has semi-verified the diagram above by "Tinker" John Gardi, it appears the system might blast you at speeds of up to 965km/h, which, oh my gosh, aren't people going to get sick to their stomachs? We can't claim to fully understand what's going on up there — or how close it is to Musk's actual plans — but it looks pretty cool! We'll find out for sure what's going on in just a few short weeks. [Twitter via BI]

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