hyperloop

Elon Musk Might be Bringing a Hyperloop to Maryland

hyperloop

I often like to say “the future is here” when I’m talking about new technological advancements.  I think we are living on the edge of some really great things that could revolutionalize our lives.  That’s not to say that things haven’t in the last 10 or 15 years.  They have.  What would life be like if we didn’t have Apple? Or more specifically, the iPhone.  That has revolutionized the way that we communicate.  But so has Twitter and Snapchat.  All of these things contribute to the technological age.  But when I say that the future is here, I’ve got a loop of the Jetsons and Back to the Future playing in my head.  Why?  Because there were some pretty far-fetched ideas in those shows that could come true if they haven’t already.

Last week, officials in Maryland gave Elon Musk’s Boring Company permission to dig a 10.1-mile tunnel beneath the state-owned portion of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.  More specifically between the Baltimore city line and Maryland 175 in Hanover.  Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn has indicated that the Boring Company wants to build two 35-mile tunnels between Baltimore and Washington, DC.  The federal government owns about two-thirds of the land that Musk’s company would need to dig underneath.

I have so many questions related to this, but let’s first address the issue with the name of Musk’s company.  The “Boring” Company?  Sure, I get it.  You’re “boring” holes underneath the ground, but it makes you sound, well boring.  The company was founded in order to advance tunneling technology.  And, it’s happening.

the boring company

The 10 miles that have been approved by the state of Maryland is just the first leg of what could be an underground system containing a Hyperloop.  My mind is literally blown.  I mean, yes this has been talked about for a few years now, but the fact that they’re doing some digging and presumably testing means it could actually happen.  The Hyperloop for those of you who aren’t familiar would essentially ferry people through a low-pressure tube in levitating pods floating above a track using air bearings.  Hence why I keep seeing George Jetson as he drives to work.  It’s basically like a subway.  But without a track and it goes much faster than a subway, and you’re moving on the air.

But where is the money for this going to come from?  It’s a great idea, but certainly not cheap.  Some have estimated that it will cost in the billions of dollar range.  And it’s unlikely that the state will contribute to the cost of the project.  Governments aren’t known to be on the cutting edge when it comes to technology.  So while this might be getting the support from the government, it’s not a government-run initiative.  Right now, it’s a private initiative that has been granted permission from the government.  A good move might be for the the two to join into some kind of public/private partnership, but those can be extremely tricky.

All joking aside, this is literally the future as we know it.  Or at least as we can imagine it.  I think the idea is truly amazing, and we should continue to explore this type of technology, regardless of what happens in the future.  That being said, if you’ve ever traveled between Baltimore and Washington, DC, you will know that a Hyperloop would be extremely beneficial.  Musk is keeping tight-lipped about this initiative right now but indicated that he would have news in about a months time.  Stay tuned for that.