Will the Hyperloop Change How We Commute?

Elon Musk wants to shoot us back and forth from work at 750 miles per hour.

Freedom seems to be the new word of the day when it comes to employment. With 30 percent of the U.S. workforce now freelancing, the old 9-to-5 work schedule could be losing its dominance. Remote work situations give employees and contractors the ability to live where they want and control their own schedule. However, there’s also clearly challenges with data security and management that come with a dispersed workforce.

What if people had some of the benefits of remote work, such as much greater leeway in where they lived, but were still able to come into a central office most of the time?

It’s hard to imagine, but a company called Hyperloop Technologies is now moving into a testing phase of a shuttle system that could allow people to do just that. The system, which has been hailed by Tesla investor Elon Musk, could allow people to travel the distance of San Francisco to Seattle in less than an hour. At full speed, the Hyperloop is envisioned to be able to travel at a mind-boggling 750 miles per hour or faster. If all goes well, testing will soon begin in Las Vegas after a short test track is built.

Musk is so passionate about the idea of the Hyperloop that he’s also supporting a separate company called Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, which plans to test a version of the same product in Los Angeles. Both companies’ product would rely on the same principle: transportation through a partial vacuum as a means of reducing aerodynamic drag. Magnetics and electronic motors would also play a role in creating this speedy transport system.

However, the Hyperloop does come with some potential downsides. Given its multi-billion dollar price tag to develop, some wonder whether the technology could ever be cost-effective enough to be used by more than just an elite few. The construction of miles of vacuum-sealed tubes over earthquake territory is another stated concern. Additionally, the ride itself might not be all that pleasant, since the tube needs to be as small as possible to save costs.

Still, we're curious about how the Hyperloop technology will develop over the coming years. The “cool” factor alone is enough to pique our imaginations and get us thinking about an alternate future.

Image Credit: ROBYN BECK / Staff via Getty Images


Stefani is a writer and urban planner based in Oakland, CA. She holds a master’s in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s in Human Biology from Stanford University. In her free time, she is often found reading diverse literature, writing stories, or enjoying the outdoors.  Follow her on Twitter: @stefanicox

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

CNN files lawsuit against Trump administration

The lawsuit claims the administration violated the First Amendment when it revoked the press credentials of reporter Jim Acosta.

(Photo by Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • CNN reporter Jim Acosta's press credentials were revoked following a heated exchange with President Donald Trump on November 8.
  • The network filed a lawsuit against the administration on Tuesday, claiming the administration has violated multiple amendments.
  • The White House may only revoke the press credentials of journalists for "compelling reasons," not for reasons involving content.
Keep reading Show less

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less