A concept drawing of the interior of the Hyperloop
Remember when real-life Iron Man Elon Musk proposed a pneumatic tube that would shoot passengers 760 miles per hour on a puff of compressed air all the way from San Francisco to Los Angeles? Well, even if you forgot about the Hyperloop, plans for the ultra-fast futuristic form of transportation are chugging along.
Except that the professor in charge of designing the thing just called it “insane.”
Talking to the Daily Breeze, Craig Hodgetts, a faculty member at UCLA’s school of Architecture and Urban Design, said that the project was “pure science fiction,” adding, “Ray Bradbury would be the perfect person to explain this." He meant that in a good way, though, later clarifying to CityLab that his comments were meant to praise Hyperloop, not to bury it. “What I meant was that the yearnings of futurists and science-fiction aficionados would be fulfilled by the realization of the system,” said Hodgetts. "I certainly did not mean that the concept had anything resembling what I think of as 'fantasy fiction'—i.e., anti-gravity, teleportation, etc."
Hodgetts, who is leading a year-long investigation into the feasibility of the Hyperloop, says that some of the original engineering numbers need re-working—an expected development for a project this complicated.
It’s not a technical scale, to be sure, but we’ll propose that calling a far-fetched engineering project "something out of Bradbury" puts it halfway between Phillip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov. Which, yup, that’s basically where Elon Musk lives his life.