Plans have now been unveiled. As promised in last month’s blog, Elon Musk, head of Telsa Motors and Space X, has now released a document outlining the details of his vision for a new form of transportation, the Hyperloop. The 57-page document reveals Musk’s plans for transporting passengers in a low-pressure tube along blankets of pressurised air, at speeds of up to 1200 km per hour. Musk’s motivation was to present an alternative to the very expensive ($69 billion) bullet train which has been approved in California.
The project is now gaining even more attention, as Musk’s promise for “open source design” is also becoming a reality. The Hyperloop project has been launched on a community collaboration forum called JumpStartFund, which seeks to combine “crowd-funding” with “crowd-sourcing expertise”. The purpose of the organisation is provide a platform to support entrepreneurs and start-ups, bringing investors and collaborators together to facilitate the process of bringing great ideas to market. The online community essentially joins the “development team” and is invited to vet potential projects on all aspects of design, manufacturing, marketing, and funding. Those who bring something significant to the table are awarded with “advisory points” which eventually translate into shares of future revenue of successful projects.
Musk admitted early on that he was not intending to build the Hyperloop himself, although it has also been reported that he is “tempted” to have a go at building a demonstration prototype. The JumpStartFund platform will put the Hyperloop under the microscope, examining every aspect of the plans, giving people the opportunity to collaborate, and also to challenge assumptions and raise issues that need to be considered.
Interestingly, JumpStartFund is, itself, a start-up, so the association with the Hyperloop project would certainly be called a strategic alliance.