Thursday, May 19, 2016

The crazy potential of the Hyperloop

While most people are excited about travelling in the Hyperloop, it would be logistics and freight that pave the way for people travel that would come later (TechnologyReview):

[T]he upfront installation costs will be outrageously expensive, even compared with rail, and especially compared with Internet infrastructure, despite Hyperloop Tech’s favored analogy. “Laying optic fiber is not really pricey,” says Genevieve Giuliano, a transportation professor at the University of Southern California. “Laying Hyperloop tube is going to be pricey.” But she and the other economists and transportation experts I spoke to perked up when I explained Hyperloop Tech’s interest in freight. “The concept is right,” says Giuliano. Freight rail in the U.S. is already quite profitable and efficient (Warren Buffett invests heavily in it). But a high-speed freight backbone—broadband for goods—linking major population centers could make economic sense, she says.

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