Monday, 2013 September 30 10:01 am EDT
Chairman, Product Architect & CEO
3500 Deer Creek
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Dear Mr. Musk:
I take great interest in your Hyperloop proposal, but I feel that the problem of providing high-speed passenger transportation, to the mass of citizens, requires a different approach, one that affords individuals the option of using their own vehicles (although mass-transit vehicles will also be available), and making the high-speed network accessible to everyone in any urban or suburban area.
A full technical discussion may be found at http://Hyperloop.LeviCar.com/. You asked to make Hyperloop "open source", and this link provides my contribution.
I have long been critical of the national High-Speed Interstate Passenger Rail (HSIPR) proposal, just as you are about California's own proposed system. I feel that both are only the latest incarnations of a 200-year-old technology that best be put to rest. Neither provides much of an advantage over existing systems, even though they would be very expensive.
Hyperloop, for all its speed on its one line, will not provide the fastest door-to-door service possible for most people. One must consider the total time for the trip, not just for the high-speed central segment. Also, there is a lot of money to be made for freight service -- traditionally, freight has subsidized passenger service. Any high-speed system will be more viable, economically, if it also handles freight.
I have proposed a Danby-Powell Magnetic-Levitation (MagLev) system of individual vehicles. I call it LeviCar (see http://www.LeviCar.com), and it has a freight counterpart, RoboTrail, that uses the same rail network, but different depots. The network uses my hexOgrid hexagrammoid grid, which can provide depots within ten miles, by road, in any built-up (urban and suburban) area; rural and wilderness areas will also be served, but the distance to a depot would be considerably longer.
I think that you would be interested in LeviCar. Tesla Motors, with its experience and commitment to quality, is the one automobile manufacturer in the United States that is best positioned to make LeviCars. Even if you don't have the capacity, you can still design LeviCar's components, patent such technology, and license it to other manufacturers.
Lastly, there is still room for your original Hyperloop design in a MagLev network. The MagLev hexOgrid provides 300-mph transportation, nearly point-to-point. To get faster service, the most heavily-traveled passenger routes could be supplemented with Vactrain- or Hyperloop- like transportation tubes (freight would be relegated to the standard 300-mph grid alone). I like to call such a shortcut tube a "wormhole".
Because it is easier to climb over mountains with MagLev, a wormhole from Grapevine to San Martin would speed thing up for the LA-SF route. One possible interstate wormhole would run from the eastern end of California to central Illinois. Passengers would ride on the standard network from the Los Angeles, San Diego, and Las Vegas areas (and points in-between) to the western terminus of this wormhole, ride it to Illinois, and then use the standard network to get to Chicago, Milwaukee, Fort Wayne, Cincinnati, and beyond.
I even have devised a means that the Hyperloop suction turbines can be combined with MagLev vehicles in wormholes.
Again, all this, and more, is contained in the approximately ten-page write-up at http://Hyperloop.LeviCar.com/.
Please consider my contribution. I think it will benefit you, and me, the nation, and Western Civilization.
Joshua Zev Levin, Ph.D.
Chief Creative Officer
124 Arbor Lane
Marlton, NJ 08053-4102
Cell: (631) 463-5416
or: (866) LeviCar (538-4227)
© 2013 Joshua Zev Levin, Ph.D.