Billionaire U.S. entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled plans on Monday (August 12) for a futuristic Hyperloop transportation system to whisk passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in under half an hour. He estimated the cost of the project to be just $6 billion, a tenth of what it would cost to build new highway links.

The highly anticipated announcement put to rest some of the questions surrounding the ambitious project, which the Tesla Motors and Paypal founder has hinted at for months but declined to discuss in detail.

The Hyperloop, which Musk previously described as a cross between a Concorde, rail gun and air-hockey table, will be solar powered and move passengers and even automobiles at speeds of up to 800 miles per hour, breaking the sound barrier, according to the 57-page design plan.

The system's aluminium capsules would run above ground and along low pressure steel tubes.

Compared to alternatives like the state's planned high-speed rail system, the Hyperloop would be safer, faster, lower cost and more convenient, Musk said in a blog post. He estimated a single ticket would cost just $20.

He asked the public for help improving the design and if a Hyperloop hasn't been built in a couple of years, he might look at building it himself.

Presented by Adam Justice

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