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Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk has unveiled his idea of super fast inland transport with the near-supersonic Hyperloop concept. In application, the concept would provide super fast travel between major cities, going at magnificent speeds going up to 760mph (1,220 km/h) to make distances irrelevant. Envisioned as a connection between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a Hyperloop pod would cover the 380 miles (610km) distance in just 30 minutes.

Musk suggests the top of the Hyperloop tubes be lined with solar panels, so the system can generate most of the energy that it uses. The pods could leave every thirty second, providing a fair density of travel and have their subsonic speeds reach the destination real fast.

An external linear electric motor would be used to propel the pods, powering electric compressor fans placed at the nose of the pods. These fans would transfer high pressure air from the front to the rear of the vessel, giving it the speed boosts it needs. Musk envisions this motor to be very similar to the one currently used in the Tesla Model S, although this one would be rolled flat. The system would work for cities that are less than 900 miles apart.

Musk sees Hyperloop as the “fifth mode” of transportation (after planes, trains, cars and boats), and is prepared to build a subscale demonstrator. Must estimates a hyperloop tube between San Francisco and Los Angeles would cost approximately $6 billion. He has however said that he does not have any plans to execute the Hyperloop, but would make the idea available for outsiders to criticize and improve.

More: Hyperloop, Tesla Motors Hyperloop Alpha [pdf]