Hyperloop One Wants to Carry Self-Driving Cars in Its 760-MPH Tubes
Just like Amtrak's Auto Train—except way, way faster.
If the guys at Hyperloop One have their way, there will be more than just small, train-like vehicles flying along at 760 miles per hour in its tubes—autonomous cars could be coming along for the ride, to.
In an interview with The Verge, Hyperloop One co-founder and president of engineering Josh Giegel and senior vice president of global field operations Nick Earle spoke about the larger visions of their futuristic transport ideas. Part of that vision is apparently to allow any kind of self-driving car to hop into Hyperloop One's tube network and be propelled through the system without issue.
“The idea is you have a transmitter in your car,” Earle said to The Verge. “As you approach the hyperloop, it would be like a fast pass on the freeway. So you actually get the ability to open the air lock and drive into the tube.”
Think of it like a futuristic, pressurized version of Amtrak's Auto Train, which lets drivers bring their personal cars on a train trip between Virginia and Florida.
And apparently, it wouldn't be locked into one specific type of self-driving vehicle. “We want any autonomous vehicle to go into our system,” said Earle.
Currently, Hyperloop One is working to build what it needs for the full-scale test that it wants to show off in the desert north of Las Vegas later in 2017. Previously, the company has received criticism because of the high cost of its plans. Hyperloop One previously estimated each mile of tubing would cost around $11.5 million.
Money isn't the only reason why people doubt the capabilities of Hyperloop, however. “I get this all the time, people say to me, ‘Oh, your face will peel off and you’ll turn to mush,’” said Earle. “But it’s basically like an airplane 20 feet off the ground. Millions of people take airplanes every day and their faces don’t peel off.”