The Hyperloop is a conceptual high-speed transportation system originally put forward by entrepreneur Elon Musk, incorporating reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors.
The outline of the original Hyperloop concept was made public by the release of a preliminary design document in August 2013, which included a notional route running from the Los Angeles region to the San Francisco Bay Area, paralleling the Interstate 5 corridor for most of its length. Preliminary analysis indicated that such a route might obtain an expected journey time of 35 minutes, meaning that passengers would traverse the 350-mile (560 km) route at an average speed of around 600 mph (970 km/h), with a top speed of 760 mph (1,200 km/h). Preliminary cost estimates for the LASF notional route were included in the white paperUS$6 billion for a passenger-only version, and US$7.5 billion for a somewhat larger-diameter version transporting passengers and vehicles although transportation analysts doubted that the system could be constructed on that budget.
Hyperloop technology has been explicitly open-sourced by Musk and , and others have been encouraged to take the ideas and further develop them. To that end, several companies have been formed, and tens of interdisciplinary student-led teams are working to advance the technology.
Designs for test tracks and capsules are currently being developed, with construction of a full-scale prototype 5-mile (8 km)-track scheduled to start in 2016.In addition, a subscale pod design competition on a very short, 1 mile (2 km), test track is underway, with test runs expected later in 2016.