Tag Archives: Transport

Elon Musk To Build Chicago ‘Loop’

Elon Musk’s Hyper-Loop
Source: Quartz

It has been announced that billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has managed to land a major city contract for his company, Boring Co. This is one of many companies owned by Musk, with this particular branch specialising in tunnel boring. The contract in question is a rapid transport system between downtown Chicago, and the O’Hare International Airport.

With the contract confirmed, you might now recall that plans had been laid down by Musk as early as 2013. His lofty idea at the time was for a system that travelled at a rather outrageous 760 miles per hour, and this was considered a notoriously bold claim. Now that the contract has been secured, it turns out that the speed will be a far more realistic 150 miles per hour, leaving passengers enough time to play at an online casino or read a magazine on the way to their destination.

It seems like with the speed reduction the billionaire has had to have a serious reality check. Or is this just a step in the direction of a 760 mile per hour rapid transit systems, as he is now claiming?

Steps In The Right Direction

As it stands, Chicago residents have had very little options when wanting to get to the O’Hare Airport. Currently a best-case scenario will see a journey from downtown Chicago take about 40 minutes. The Loop, as it is being called by Musk, will reduce that time to about 12 minutes. An enormous improvement to say the least. But, it is still falling a great deal short of the system originally pitched.

However, he isn’t giving up on his 760 miles per hour system. Instead, he is now claiming that the current project is just a step towards his so-called Hyper-Loop. At a news conference, Musk told Mayor Rahm Emanuel that his Hyper-Loop system was better suited for longer distances, specifically mentioning Chicago to New York as an example.

In The Loop

Many are already saying that Musk is a classic case of all bark and no bite, but a look at the proposed Loop between Chicago and O’Hare is an impressive project, none the less. According to the information provided, the Loop will be entirely automated, and be equipped with pods that carry 8 to 12 passengers at a time. The proposed tunnel will be created by Boring Co, and the passenger pods by the infamous Tesla Inc. The tunnel will be completely subterranean, and be imperceptible by anyone on the surface. In other words; silent and creating no surface vibrations or tremors.

Another notable aspect is that there is the possibility that passenger vehicles will also be able to make use of the system. Or at least Musk hinted at the fact, saying that the possibility exists. More interesting is that the project will cost about $1 billion, which may sound like a lot, but is in fact a great deal less than what such a project would normally cost. Plus, riding the system will reportedly be about half the amount paid for a taxi or Uber. So, even if the system is not reaching the lofty heights that Musk originally put down, it is still an impressive endeavour.

Typical Musk Confidence

Musk is once again doing his part in taking the world forward into the future, and evolving technology. Perhaps we will soon live in a world where rapid transport systems really do travel at 760 miles per hour. Assuming that Musk can gather the needed finances. Although that won’t be a problem, especially given his response as to how he would raise the funds for the Loop. He responded simply that he hasn’t had a problem before, and it won’t be a problem now. Short on details it seems, but you have to love the man’s confidence!