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The Hyperloop Is Darting To China

Elon Musk is a busy man, so today we’re taking a look at his Hyperloop invention. What may seem like a normal tunnel is actually something straight out of a science fiction movie. So let’s break it down one aspect at a time.

The Hyperloop is a magnetically propelled pod system that could potentially be the future of commuter travel. First designed in 2013 by Musk, it’s basically a bullet train but beefed up. With the potential to travel 760 miles per hour, the technology uses a magnetic field to propel a tube (that would be full of people) at high speeds in a straight line from one city to another in record times. Musk calls it a mix between a “train” and “airplane” that does not encounter friction or resistance. At nearly 100 feet in length, it is proposed that each pod could hold around 40 people.

So what exactly would this mean if fantasy became reality? Commuters would be able to travel between Los Angeles to San Francisco in 36 minutes, or from Austin to Dallas in 20 minutes. But the U.S. won’t be the first place to experience this high-speed extravaganza. China has invested $1 billion into a test track for the Hyperloop, wanting to create a 10-kilometer track. The deal was struck with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, who has also signed deals with Abu Dhabi and Ukraine.

Currently, you can watch students test their own built pods in competitions to see who can build the fastest propelled pod. This year’s winner was the University of Munich; their team has won three times in a row, this time garnering speeds up to 290 kilometers per hour.