Hyperloop One's Senior Vice President of Engineering Josh Giegel jumped on the phone with our friends Kevin and Bean at KROQ last week in the wake of the excitement around our first open-air propulsion test. Geigel, who pretty much runs the engineering groups here, has been with the company since November 2014, when it was still a few people crammed into the garage of our cofounder Brogan BamBrogan.
Give a listen. Josh may be a super geek but he nails the key differences separating the Hyperloop from existing modes of transportation—and why it's a far, far different proposition than the pneumatic tubes that suck your money up at the drive-thru bank teller.
In case you’re new to the idea, Hyperloop is a new transportation technology that moves people or cargo through steel tubes in a controlled environment at very high speeds using electromagnetic propulsion. It’s as smooth as an elevator ride but the speed of an airliner. It's energy-elegant, has no direct carbon emissions and is designed to be safer than a train (no driver to make an error and no weather to worry about). And it's on-demand, which means that if you miss the 6:02 Hyperloop you can take the 6:04, because another one is always close behind.
The big question is when will you get to ride in one. As Josh tells KROQ, we're looking to have our first tubes in ground in 2 to 3 years and people moving through them by 2020 or 2021. As for where, that's still to be determined. The hosts at KROQ wanted to know if Los Angeles could take up a lane on the 10 or the 405 and put in a Hyperloop. Says Josh, "We don't even have to take the lane up. We can put it above the highway or underneath. We love tunnels at Hyperloop."