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Hyperloop Lecture

Hyperloop Lecture


Welcome. Thanks for having me. Thanks for having me,
Professor Alexeenko. And Jen, one of
our interns, who’s TA-ing our class, the Hyperloop
design class here. He’s been one of
our prized pupils that lured away for one more
semester here at Purdue, and then we’re getting him
back in a few short weeks. So there’s a whole back story
that Hyperloop is about, and it starts before
the Elon white paper– and that’s one of our founders. Shervin Pishevar and Elon were
talking about this concept together. And Shervin sort of
put Elon on the spot in a web summit a
couple years ago. You have that we’ve discussed
before, which is Hyperloop. I would love for you to tell
this audience what that is and how it could
change our world again. Thank you. It’s a cross between a Concorde,
a rail gun, and an air hockey table. That’s it. So I think the
Hyperloop team here knows it’s just that simple. And with that, I want to maybe
take a little bit of a poll before I get into it. So how many engineers
do we have here? All right. Do we have any business folks? Oh, saw one in the back. And then what’s our break up? Do we have civils? How many civils? OK. Electrical? All right. You guys always sit together. How about mechanical
and aerospace? OK. All right. And to the point
made earlier, this is really kind of an
all encompassing project and a really good
use of all the skills that you’ve learned so far. But that’s the Hyperloop
classic and that’s the white paper that Elon
outlined in the fall of 2013. And I’m sure most of
the people in this room are familiar with that. And that was a starting point. And at Hyperloop Tech, we’ve
really kind of taken it to the next level and moved
it to our version of that. And our version of that is this
new mode of transportation. So we’re looking at transport
inside of a fully enclosed tube that has electric
propulsion and brakes to start and slow the pod down. And we’ll go into all these
in a little bit of detail and you can see the
hardware that we’re making. And then inside the tube,
we’ve got ultra low pressure environment. So roughly 1/1,000
of an atmosphere, or like flying at 160,000
feet of elevation. So four times higher than the
plane I flew on 12 hours ago to come here. And [? Jem ?] has me running
around like a crazy dog. But that’s a big
part of the system, and that’s why
we’ve got the tube. We’ve got the
compressor in the front to reduce the effective
drag of the vehicle. And then we’ve got the
levitation system, which is the question
I’ve heard the most today from the different
groups, is what are you doing, how are you doing it. And we’ll talk about
what that looks like. But from a high level, we’re
looking to move anything, and focusing on people and
cargo as the foremost thing. And if you think about what
Hyperloop is long-term, it’s a new way to
get from a to b. And for people, that means
really fast transport. It means safer transport
than exists currently today. And for cargo, that means the on
demand economy that we live in and work with today is
going to be facilitated. So you’ve got one
distinct, you know, Amazon hub that might be in the
middle of North Dakota feeding the entire United States with
same-day type of delivery. And the last mile with automated
vehicles and drones, and all of that is really going
to be a seamless way to integrate the
future together. And we’re looking
to move it anywhere. So there was a couple
civils in here, so we’ll start with
the land routes. So one of the things
about high speed rail is it’s meant to connect
two cities together except along the way it
divides the entire corridor. So it’s meant to connect
people, but it divides them at the same time. And Hyperloop offers a solution
to not do that anymore. So instead of having
this no crossing zone or no whatever zone, we can have
an above ground, distinct pylon structure which is part of
our low cost type of system, and that allows easy
access underneath. No grading needed, none of
this stuff that high speed rail would need, and none of the
stuff that highway would need. And you can do it at a
much smaller footprint in a more sustainable way. And then ultimately, we’re going
to move this into the water. So if you think about
what a water route means, that means if we went from
Los Angeles to San Francisco, we would do that in the water. So you get rid of
a lot of these land issues, and a lot of the
potential hiccups and hurdles of getting a major
infrastructure project installed. And one of the
other things that’s really interesting
about the water routes is what it can do to ports. So if we had offshore
ports, so let’s take the port of Long
Beach for example, we’re constrained in this
really high value area. You know, beach city,
Los Angeles, California is one of them. And it’s congested,
it’s constrained, you can’t expand it easily. So if we take a Hyperloop and
we push it out to sea, say 10 to 20 to 30
kilometers out to sea, the developers of those
ports then say, all right, I can redevelop this land,
I can make my port inland at this much cheaper land. Then I can expand my port
in a very organic way, and I can move it further inland
and then facilitate a broader network of Hyperloop hubs. So all those things really go to
what the benefits of Hyperloop are and I think a lot of the
teams here have identified, I think SpaceX has done
a good job of forcing it on the greater community as how
do you make your system viable. So these are just a couple
of the things that make our particular system viable. And it’s weatherproof. So in areas that are cold,
snowy, rainy, stormy. You know, imagine a
transportation system that’s unaffected by the weather. I mean, that’s a massive,
massive, massive improvement. It’s unrestricted with the
right of way as we talked about. It’s cost effective. We’re looking at costs
on the order of about 60% of high speed rail
for technology costs. And that’s 60% cost
for a machine that performs two or three
times at the speed, which is a massive, massive upgrade. I mean, that’s essentially
getting a Ferrari for the price of a Fiat. And as we move forward,
on demand departure. So we’re looking at cranking
through these pods at a very high throughput so that we can
get as much cargo and volume through here as possible. And then inside, we’ve got
the autonomous revolution. Of course, the driverless,
ultra-safe vehicle. I had the privilege
a couple weeks ago of being at the KTH
School in Sweden, and they’re really
doing some cool work with autonomous integrated
trucks together. And so looking at doing
that for the Hyperloop. How do you do that? What are the challenges
associated with these speeds? And so that’s a really, really
interesting design problem from a control side. High speed capable. It can tie into the grid
in a carbon free, energy elegant way. And we’re not looking to do this
old school, dirty technology. This is a much
cleaner technology. There’s not grease everywhere. This is really what
the future looks like. A clean, elegant solution. And then ultimately,
various forms of braking. So we’ll kind of skim
through this real fast. Any of you who’ve traveled
at any point in your life already know all of
these different things. And it’s an expensive mess. You know how
congested everything is, you know how long it
takes to get everywhere. And it’s not that way just
here in the United States, it’s that way kind
of across the planet. And it’s dirty, it’s
dangerous, it’s unsafe. So looking at all
these different things to make it better. And we truly believe
that Hyperloop can do it. But it can do it
in a way that meets the demands of the future. So all of the major
forms of transportation are going to double in
the next 15 to 20 years. So we’re talking about a
massive market opportunity. So for the couple of
business development people that were in here, they’re
going to spend upwards of $150 trillion
on infrastructure projects in the next 30
years across the world. So a very small market share
for a brand new technology makes a very big company. And this isn’t apple
pie technology, this is disruptive technology. These are the four
modes of transportation. The one thing I want you
to think about in here is how many people have
great grandparents? Good, all of you. So your great grandparents
could take the same four modes of transportation that we can. They can take a boat,
they can take a train, they can take a plane,
they can take a car. I mean, we’re all engineers. That’s somewhat embarrassing. Especially like most of us
are mechanical or aerospace engineers. You know, we’re still
making the same things, and they’re not getting
appreciably better. And of course, Hyperloop’s
going to be the solution to all of those things. So if we’re going
to look at the team, I mentioned before we had
one Purdue alumni who’s going to start with us
full time, [? Jem. ?] And he’s doing a lot of
our aerodynamic work, so the detailed CFD
and drag and lift studies of the compressor
as well as the pod is a unique challenge. And [? Jem has ?] spent a
lot of time in his past, during his PhD, really
doing that work. And then we worked
out a great situation where he gets to come
to sunny California in winter– just remember that
when he leaves you in a couple weeks– that he’s
going to come out and he’s going to
finish his PhD, but he’s going to
be doing it on stuff that’s related to Hyperloop. And we had, I believe, six
or seven interns last summer. A couple that went
back to school, and we’ve hired three
of those on full-time. And we’re continuing
to look for that. And if you’re looking
for anything– and we’ll get into all the
different types of roles that they can have, but,
you know, the teams here, the experience that you’re going
to gain in the Pod Competition is going to be invaluable. And that’s why we love
the Pod Competition, is we can find the
best and the brightest. So our board of directors
looks like this. You saw Shervin at
the very beginning. He’s one of our founders
and is the Managing Partner at Sherpa Ventures. So they are a part of our
series a round of investment. David Sacks is a former
CEO of some companies you may have heard of. PayPal, Yammer, Zenefits. Jim Messina is one of our
political influencers. So this is a really, really
hard engineering challenge, but it’s probably equal
to or more difficult from a regulatory standpoint
or from a political standpoint. So Jim has quite the
connections and has led quite a few
different things, and has already got quite a few
great meetings and connections for us. Peter Diamandis,
the name’s probably familiar to the
techno community. Just a great visionary. Joe’s company, Formation
8 lead our series a round of investment
and has been just a stellar partner for us. Emily joined us as
another operating officer as a Board Advisor. And then this is probably
one of the biggest catches, and I’ll go in shortly into kind
of the timeline of the company. But Rob Lloyd joined us
in September as the CEO, and he used to run Cisco. So he was in charge, he
was President of Cisco. He was in charge
of 45,000 people. He left Cisco and came
to a 45 person company because he really
believes in this vision. And I’ve had the
privilege of getting to see the man in action,
and it’s really a testament to the team that we’ve
built, the product we built, and to the really
transformative, disruptive nature of what Hyperloop is. So we’ll hear him
in a little bit. The team that we built, this
is a little bit older slide. And a little bit about
my background, and I’ll kind of skim briefly. But after grad
school, I was all set to do a PhD, all ready
to do some boundary layer transition and hypersonic flow. And I interviewed at SpaceX,
and I came back and talked to my advisor, and we talked
about the PhD, and I said, there’s nothing
I’d rather do less on this planet than
what you just described. So it was also a little
SpaceX influence, and so that sort of lured
me away, and it was great. I mean, going to a company
where, at that time, we hadn’t had a
successful launch. And going to a company
where they gave you a massive amount of
responsibility for no reason other than you
walked in the door and you were the next man up. So I got the privilege of
doing all the thermal, fluid, and structural on
the Merlin family of engines that are flying
on the rocket right now, the Merlin 1D, first stage
engine, and the vacuum engine. The little SuperDraco engine
up here on the spacecraft. Couple of little other test
beds you can see down there. And then this
microgravity fluid stuff, which I knew nothing about. They just said go figure
it out, and the only thing I knew about surface
tension in microgravity was one paragraph in
my fluid textbook. And I had taken seven fluid
classes at that point. So that’s sort of
the environment we’re trying to build. There are specialists
around there. They take these young
engineers with formable minds and they teach them
how to be engineers. And that’s what we’re
creating and we’re trying to foster there. So I came from a background
of all engineers. Mom, dad, sister, wife. Just a really disturbing,
disturbing group of people. So much so that actually when
Dragon docked with the Space Station for the
very first time, it was the first night
of our honeymoon. Those of you who
are married, I’m sure you have your
own visions of what your first night on your
honeymoon were like, but mine was with the
laptop up, my wife and I sitting on the bed
watching spacecrafts dock with the Space Station. So that’s one for the keeper. You know, long time from now. Wanted to go to a
small start up, wanted to get a little bit
more experience. And something I’d
highly recommend. And a lot of the teamwork
that you’re doing, and Paul is talking to me about
building this kind of Hyperloop team, and it’s challenging. It’s challenging
doing a small company. So Echogen Power Systems was a
small company, about 40 people when I joined in Ohio. And we were doing something
that nobody had ever done before, which was
a industrial scale, super-critical CO2 power system. And we did it. We built it, built the
first one in the world. You can see it right there in
that little blue sky picture, the only day was
ever blue in Ohio. And it was great. It was a great
learning experience. You learn how to talk to
people, communicate your ideas. Something I’d really
like to stress is you’re no good to
anybody around you if you can’t communicate
the ideas you have and the quality of them,
and make them understand. Whether it be some
woman who doesn’t speak any English on a
plane or your professor who you can have a three
hour conversation with. It’s just as
important for either. And then after that wasn’t
going quite the way I wanted, I popped back out to
California to do some work on Virgin Galactic, The
LauncherOne program. And about a month
after I started there, I got a text from Brogan,
who I worked with at SpaceX, and he said, you
know, must meet ASAP. And he told me, have you
heard of the Hyperloop? And I was like, oh, this thing. And so he’s like,
I’ve met Shervin, you should come meet Shervin. And it did this little
thing where at first, I was little skeptical. I went home and I started
looking up transportation because I’d never really
done it in my career. And then I started seeing like,
man, this could be something. This could be
something really big. And I want to be part of
the team that does it. I want to put together
the team that does it. And I want to find
anybody out there who’s going to have the
idea that makes it work. So it’s been a great kind of
formative experience for that. And that’s meant we’ve
done a couple things. When we hire people, we look
for a very similar trait. And I saw it today in a
Hyperloop design class. I saw a lot of pictures
of real hardware. So all of you out there, one
of the things, especially when we’re looking at young
fresh outs or greenies is take pictures of all
the stuff you’re doing. If you’re on a lathe,
take a picture of it. If you’ve built something,
take a picture of it. Because when you come
in for the interview and you’re going
through your portfolio and you’re going after a picture
of this, you machining that, you ran some CFD here. It’s incredibly powerful,
and it helps you remember all the stuff that you did. And what we’re looking for
in more experienced people are people who have built stuff. So we built rocket engines,
spaceships, electric vehicles, this is a fusion reactor. It’s a satellite. That thing in the center
is a flying laser. Shoots a one foot diameter beam,
chemical laser, and then it farts out this noxious
gas at the side. And we’ve got the guys who
designed a control system. So when the plane’s twisting
and wiggling and falling, that beam is staying
exactly on its target. So these are the type of
people we’re looking for. People who have
built stuff, people who have built hard things,
solved hard problems. But more importantly, people who
don’t have to be the experts, but want to be the experts. They want to say,
how do I do this. And I saw that today in a class. I saw like, why are we doing
it this way, why are we– that’s what you got to have. That curiosity. Because no one’s ever
built a Hyperloop before. And we have to learn how. So we’ll kind of
roll through this. June of last year, this is when
Brogan, myself in the middle, met Shervin, Jim,
and Scott Stanford. So that was sort of our
kind of kick-off meeting. I got impatient at Virgin
and I just quit my job. And in November, reported
to Brogan’s garage. So I’d highly recommend
doing that because you can’t put one foot
in the kiddie pool if you want to
jump in eventually. Just go for it. So last December, we
were in the garage. That’s not beer. Promise you. No. Starting point, we
ended up getting our series a round of funding
December 22 of last year. So this time last
year, there were two people at Hyperloop Tech. Two full-time people. And that was our starting point. So since then, we had a
sort of coming out party. In February, we had
a Forbes article that really kind of
announced that we were a company, an organization. I could reengage with
my friends socially and tell them what I was doing. Because I had to
quit a company that I worked with a bunch of
colleagues and friends, and didn’t tell them where I was
going, which the speculation. That was the office. So this is very much the
office that [? Jem ?] came to, what was it, May? May. So this was in March. But that’s what it looked like. So there’s about 10 desks
in there at that time. In the May time frame, we got
our first section of tube. After May, we started this. And we’ll talk about
what this guy is. This is our own custom
designed, built wind tunnel. And we designed and
built it in nine weeks. Only one like it in the world. And you get to see
how cool that is. We’ll get to tell
you why we did that. Shortly after that, we
built our levitation rig, which– apologies, a little
slow– you can see it here. That’s testing our
levitation technologies. And we’ll give you a
little bit more detail. Wind tunnel was
operational at that point. By July, Rob had
come to visit us. We had about 40 employees. So it was the spot then. It was early motor development
for the propulsion system. August, levitation
rig was operational. September was a
big month for us. We announced Rob as the CEO. We got a much
larger office space. And we increased the team again. And at that point, Rob
went on and kind of did his press release. And I think it’s better to
kind of hear from him, so. You want to play this video? Maybe click it. Maybe. Million in second-round funding. And the team now includes
newly-minted CEO Rob Lloyd. I’ve seen what this guy
can due in six weeks. Exactly. Lloyd spent 20 years in
networking giant Cisco where he helped drive
the internet revolution. It feels like we’re exactly at
the beginning of building out the next big global
network, except it’ll be a network for people and
things, rather than for data. How long before we see the first
functional Hyperloop system? Three years from now,
I believe that we’ll be designing and constructing
the first two or three production Hyperloop
systems in the world. Five years from now, we’ll
be moving goods and people. There you have it. Straight from the source. So he believes in the
company quite tremendously, and it shows. I mean, the throughput we’ve
got in the business development side since he’s joined
has been incredible. October, moved up to 55 people. November, 70. As of yesterday, we’re at 74. So two to 74 in less than
a year is quite the growth. It’s painful at times,
but at the same time, like, we’re not doing
something small. We’re not making an app,
we’re making something big. Linear propulsion test,
which is a big deal, we’ll talk about that in a sec. And then construction
on our big test site will begin at the
beginning of next year. So now into the nitty
gritty, the reason you guys are all engineers, the
reason you’re here. The engineering. So we’ve got the compressor,
the low pressure environment levitation system, and the tube. So you know all
this, I’m not going to go through it
in detail any more, but I’m going to talk
about what we’re doing and all the different
things that we talked about in the past. So civils. We’ve got quite a
few things here. We’ve got support
and we’ve got tube. So support structure,
pylons, track stampers, earthquake mitigation, and civil
soil work, underwater work. All kinds of stuff there. And we’re not going
to do this the way other civil firms do it. We’re going to do it in a
much more cost efficient way because we’ve got a very
different system than what exists today. Tube side. Biggest cost driver, if you
look at the Hyperloop system is the tube. Let’s make it cheaper. Let’s make it better. We’ve got some really,
really cool stuff to do that, and we can take
massive cost savings. We can take this
and we can make it one of the cheapest systems
that’s more robust than a steel tube could ever be. We’re doing that optimization. We’re doing that. These ideas are not the ideas
that sit in your textbook, they’re the ideas
that you think about. You think about at
night and you come in and you execute and you come
up with a new way to do it. We’ll talk about
route at the end. Hyperpods. So mechanical and the
aerospace in here. We’ve got basically a chassis. How do we build this thing? What do we have to put in it? So propulsion, thermal
systems, environmental control. You name it. How do we integrate
that into a package? How do we reject heat? What’s the thermal
cycle on this? If I’m going to use a
compressor, how do I cool it? Do I need to cool it? What does this look like? Is it existing technology
or is it brand new? So all this stuff
is massive amounts of innovation and iteration. Because we can build
a Hyperloop right now, but it’s not going to be
as cost effective as it can be long-term. And so that’s what
we’re looking to do is figure out a way to
do this even better. And we’ve got some
great ideas that we’re working on in parallel
with the big development. And levitation system? The question I’ve
heard most often from every different
school I’ve gone to is, what are you guys doing. Is it air bearings? Is it maglev? Is it magic? Is it fairies? We’ll talk about it in a bit. How do we do it is from a cost
and efficiency standpoint. The propulsion side. Nobody really makes
these linear machines. Nobody makes them at the
power levels we want. How do we do that? How do we validate it? Power side. Looking to deliver 30 to
60 megawatts pulsed power. And I’ll tell you how
much utilities love that. They’re like, what? So how do we do that? How do we do it
cost efficiently? Control side. These are autonomous
vehicles, so all of that stuff– how do you make it work? How do you talk
through the pods? If pod 2 has a problem, how do
pods 3, 4, 5, 6 react to it? How do they deal with it? The route. This is something
I’m ultra passionate about is all of these little
systems here encompassed in the route. And they’re encompassed by that
in an optimization framework. So how do we create cost
models, performance models, route models? Where do we tunnel? Where do we bridge? And we’ve got some of the most
sophisticated optimization tools that are out there. And we build on those
with our own designs. And that right there is
the key to the kingdom. Because we can do all
kinds of innovation here. If we mess that
up, doesn’t work. So I talked with a
couple of professors today who’ve done a lot of
work with the grad students here with optimization, and
learn it, use it, love it, breathe it. It’s going to be the
way of the future. So it’s all building up to this,
which is our development loop. So 2 miles, 3.3 meters diameter. So to give you perspective,
you’ll stand at one end and you won’t be able
to see the other end. That’s real hardware. That’s real steel. That’s the #steelisreal
catch line. But full speed, fully capable,
showcase the main elements. We can hold pressure, we
have a levitation system. We’ve got a compressor
on the front and we’ve got a
electric motor in there. Complete system. And this will not
be representative of the accelerations
that people will see. This will be much
higher, you know, accelerating at like 2 and
1/2 G’s, slowing at about 4. But that’s way higher than
what we’re doing for people, so it’ll demonstrate that
we’ve got the controlability. So here’s a little bit more
detail when we look at this. DTLA, this is our development
in downtown Los Angeles. So we’re building
this crazy tube. We’ve done it, you
can see it right here. And we’ve [? brought ?] it
up, we’ve done vacuum testing, we’ve held vacuum
in here for 10 days without constantly
maintaining it. So our leak rates were
way, way smaller than ever. In the initial group
that we got to do these welds look
like I did the weld or it was Jimmy’s
first coloring project. And the leak rates were
well less than we ever thought they would be, so
that’s boding very well for kind of maintaining this system. And we’re going to get more data
as we get to the larger tube. So here’s some more
pictures of the tube. You get some rough,
rough dimensions of it. And then this is
our vacuum test. How many people have
pulled vacuum before? All right. How exciting is it? It’s like watching paint dry. So we at least put
a balloon in here so you could see that
something was happening. And it didn’t fail. I probably wouldn’t have
shown you the video if it did. Maybe I would have, depending
on how great it was. But it held. We can do that, we’ve got the
ability, we learned quite a bit from that. And it’s still part of
our ongoing testbed. Compressor. So we talked about what this
is, flying at 160,000 feet. The only thing that
operates in this is either going up through
it or down through it. Nothing flies here,
nothing does anything, so we had to develop
something to do it. And the computational
tools, they’re not the best. So we went out and we got
a Purdue grad– woohoo– to help us with it. So we’ve got some CFD models,
so these are some Navier-Stokes solutions that are conventional,
off-the-shelf codes. We’ve got some ideas for it. We’ve got some other
more academic codes that we’re using to verify it. But in the same vein
we do everything else, we have to go test
something, because we’re no good without the test. So we designed and
built this wind tunnel, and you’ll see that here. Let this play. But again, this is something
that I called a vendor and said, hey, I’d like a wind
tunnel in two to three months. And he said, we’ll get you a
design in two to three months. And I hung up the
phone and said, well, that’s not happening. And so we designed,
analyzed, and built this with a team of six people
in nine to 10 weeks. Kind of give you a feel for
the speed at which we execute. But this is a fully
capable wind tunnel. We can adjust the test
sections to measure lift and drag of our airfoil
shapes for the compressor. We can put mini pods in there. It’s really the only one
like it in the whole world. And it can run continuously,
which a lot of the other ones are just blow down
type of wind tunnels. But it’s a real great
piece of engineering, it’s a great, great
showpiece because it’s providing a lot of very,
very valuable data. And it’s going to be a integral
part to [? Jem ?] finishing his PhD with
Hyperloop at Purdue. So then, our levitation rig. And the moment I know you guys
have all been waiting for, and I’m probably going
to disappoint you. But initially we were
starting with air bearings, so this is some
air bearing work. So we’ve got a little rig here. And you’ll see it. And this might be
why we don’t want to use air bearings,
at least right now. When do you think
it’s going to stop? Is it? Is it going to stop? OK, it did. So that’s our levitation rig. So we’ve got measurement
sensors on that. We can measure lift,
drag, we can measure stiffness characteristics. Quite a few different designs. And we’ve moved away
from the air bearings to a passive maglev system. And that offers
quite a few things in terms of energy savings, heat
transfer savings, cost savings, ride height. It’s really quite a big change. And in my experience, I’ve
never seen really a trade study that was so clear cut. So a lot of work to be done. It’s a very different
problem than what the SpaceX competition is offering, because
they have a track ready to go and we’re designing
our own custom one. So, had a big
announcement yesterday, and I’ll skip to the goodies. But this is our
propulsion system. So cut that rotational
machine in half, unroll it on the
ground, and then you’ve got a linear electric machine. So this is a linear
synchronous motor. And we get those poles just
lined up, slightly offset, and we drag that cart
forward at full speed. So you guys came
at a great time. Glad I can announce this today. You want to roll the video? So yesterday we
announced this, which is our propulsion
open air test, which is testing the exact same motor
that we’re putting in the tube. So we’ve got our command center,
which we’ve fabricated on site and we can ship out
to the test site. Here’s our power electronics. VFD. Switches for switching the
different active sections of track. And then here’s the
length of track. This is about 200 meters long. Test vehicle. And you’ll get to see
basically this thing take off. And this still doesn’t
do it really the justice that it does. And for example, a
Tesla goes zero to 60 in something like 3 seconds. This goes zero to 350
miles an hour in 2. So maybe with– we’ll offer
some rides or some intern rides, it’s really pretty exciting. But the real crux of this is you
saw the little testing machines that we’re doing for the
levitation and the compressor and everything, but this is
the test machine for the motor. So this is the exact
motor that we’re going to put inside
a tube, and we’re going to make sure that it
works here on this scale before we buy 2
kilometers worth of it. Here’s our route optimization. Sorry, would you go
to roll this one too? So this is a unnamed route in
the southwestern United States between two large cities. Any ideas? OK. So this particular one is
we’ve got these stations. So one of the great
things about Hyperloop, what makes it so cheap
is inside this tube, the drag is so low that
we don’t have to have active track the whole way. We’ve got these
discreet little stations that give a little boost. So only about 5-10% of the
whole length of the track is actually active. So in between these
stations, we slow down from about 700 miles
an hour to about 620 over about 50 miles. So that’s a very slow
slow down, and it allows us to have a really
cheap, efficient structure. So the maglev that
you see in China, the maglev you see in Japan has
an active track the entire way. We don’t. And that’s one of
the reasons we’re so cost effective, is that
only in these discrete sections are there actual
propulsion stations. This is a particularly
windy route, so the optimization
we did here is subject to g-loading and
banking and all of that. But that’s all part of
our optimization toolkit that we’re refining. Where are we tunneling? Where are we bridging? Where are we doing all
these different things? And that’s one of
the things that we are going to be the best in
the world at because we’ve got some amazing people
and some amazing tools already being developed. But that’s in general,
like, the route. This is just part of it. The rest of it is
how do you down select the design, the
different performance aspects that you’ve got? So the levitation
system comes up with air bearing
design, a maglev design, the magic design,
the fairy design. And you can lay them all out,
put them in the cost model. We can do quite a
bit of optimization. Figure out what is really the
most effective way to do this. And that’s what we’re going to
be the best in the world at. Skip over. Next one. So this was, again,
the office in March. This is what it looks like now. So we’ve gone from 6,000
square feet to almost 2 acres with about 18,000
square feet under roof. You came, and in the meeting
we were in for an hour, there was a new
wall built, and we had to walk around that wall
to come out of the meeting. So it’s really an amazing amount
of growth, both physically and in terms of the team,
in terms of technology in a very short time. Because we say we’re
going to do something, we say we’re going to build that
tube by the end of next year, and we’re going to do it. Because that’s all our
backgrounds have done and that’s all we’ve ever done. So this is some of the
structure in the back, so that was the
buildings inside. This is some more manufacturing
space that we’re getting. It’s where we’re going to build
the first two, three pods. So come out, come
to LA, let me know. [email protected] Come in, check it out. You’ll get to see
the magic in action. This other building,
this beautiful building that actually looks like
wooden aircraft hangers is going to be
more office space. We’re getting pretty filled up. This is back in
June, clearing out a bunch of this
space in between. We’ve got all this area to
continue fabricating inside. This is our current
manufacturing space. And you can see some of
the test rigs in the back. So, massive growth with that. We just announced
in North Las Vegas, about 25 minutes
north of downtown Las Vegas is where our test
site will be for the [? pote. ?] And we announced
that deal Tuesday. I’ve got eight people at
the site right now getting this ready for the development
of the [? pote ?] project. So be splitting soon, there’ll
be a big group growing in the Las Vegas area. So if Los Angeles isn’t
your thing, maybe Vegas is. Maybe not north
Vegas, but Vegas. But before we
close it up here, I want to leave you with
a couple of things, is that when I first heard this
idea, I thought this was crazy. It was just crazy. And I’m sure
there’s a lot of you out there thinking that I’ve
read all this ridiculous stuff online, and that’s the
first thing they tell you when you’re on to something,
is that you’re crazy. Then they tell
you you’re stupid. And then they tell
you it can’t happen. And then they’re the ones saying
I can’t believe it happened. So this is what
happened 150 years ago. So 150 years ago, you
know, there were no apps. There was no CFD, there
were no computers. And they took that
network of rail. With the sweat of men’s backs
and very limited machines, they built that in 30 years. There’s no reason
to think that we can’t do that with
the technology we have now and the experience
and skill set of every engineer that we’ve got here. So this, to me, is, if they
could do that 150 years ago, what are we doing? So I know this can be done. I know it can be
done here, I know it can be done around the world. And that’s really it. And I mean, we’re
at the dawn here of, you know, this
is like 1902, 1903. You know, before then, the
only things that could fly were balloons and birds. After that, people could fly. And that was a massive
transformational part of the 20th century. And this is the 21st century,
and Hyperloop’s part of it. And it’s going to be part
of the 22nd and 23rd. So with that, this
is just a smattering of who we’re looking for,
what we’re looking for. Please, if you’re a design
engineer, talk to me. Go on the website. We’re hurting. We need more, we need more. And have those resumes ready
to go, have the pictures. But across the board, a lot
of development in the business area. There’s a couple of business
analysts, kind of route data analytics groups. There’s quite a bit of
civil, electromechanical, electromagnetics,
aerospace work, controls work, across the board. And we’re looking
for great people. Check us out Hyperlooptech.com,
@hyperlooptech on Twitter. And, you know, we’re getting
more out there in the public. We believe hardware is real. Hardware is what
makes Hyperloop. You’ll be able to come out
and smell it, touch it, you know, kiss it,
you know, hug it. I don’t know, maybe if
you’ve got big arms. But it’s really happening. And you’re looking at
one of the people who’s on the team of people doing it. And the more people we have,
the better, but the next time, hopefully I get
to come back here, you’re going to see some
really great, great stuff. And we’ll send [? Jem ?] back
here and he can do the talk. And I’ll make you take
the red-eye this time. But that’s it. Probably happy to answer
any questions, if we want. I know there might be a lot, so. If other nations want to
purchase this technology from you, are there nations
that you cannot sell it to? And do you have a price per
mile that you can quote them? So on the first
question, there’s nothing preventing
us from selling this anywhere in the world yet. And we’re certainly looking
outside the United States pretty heavily for
certain routes, because there’s a lot of people
with money, private money in certain countries. In the United States,
historically, it’s been government
money that invests in infrastructure projects. It’s different in other
parts of the world. So in terms of the
exact cost per mile, the cost I’m quoting
for the 60% number is our Greenfield,
comparison to Greenfield. And when we look
at a certain route, then we start
really digging into, where do we tunnel versus
where do we bridge. And it’s plus or minus
that kind of 60% number, but, you know, we’re
looking around– I believe the number is $16
to $17 million a kilometer. And high speed rail
is around $25 for just the raw technology cost. We’re not talking about the
entitlement or the land costs with that. And that’s kind of an
apple-apples comparison in the same type
of right of way. But it is a bit route specific. [INAUDIBLE] So, try to pick off some
of the quick ones first. Order of 1 inch,
type of ride height. And energy cost. So the system itself
is completely passive. There’s no active elements
on the pod or the track. Based on permanent
magnets on the vehicle and electrically conductive
sheet on the track. Designed with a little bit of
secret sauce on the track side. It has a bit of drag. [INAUDIBLE] It does. And it manifests itself in drag. So we’ve got the drag that
you see on the vehicle now is predominantly electromagnetic
drag, as opposed to aero drag. About 50-50 to 70-30. And that is really a part of
a lot of the optimization work that we’re doing now. So we’re making
the trades of where do you put that in terms of–
do you put power on the vehicle to do that? What are the costs and
the weight penalties associated with that? Or do you have more
frequent boost stations to deal with that
type of set up? One of the things
we didn’t quite talk about but I’m
just curious about is have you guys put any
thought into the safety for the passengers? If there’s, for
instance, a problem with one of the
[INAUDIBLE] you’re running installed in
the middle of the tube, how can you actually
get [INAUDIBLE] in [INAUDIBLE] the actual tube? If it’s also in vacuum, that
could have some problems. Yeah. So in general, if you’re
familiar with the rail terminology, there’s
things called sidings, which are basically
branches off of the rail track. And those will be every so often
to offer essentially a off-ramp for a disabled pod. The pods themselves will
have propulsion on board to take them. In the event of a
disabled pod, they will have low speed
propulsion to take them to the nearest kind of
way station at which point then the passengers in that
can get out or some other thing can happen. In terms of like a tube
breach or something like that, it’s actually great because the
levitation system is passive now. There’s no active power
required to do it. We just have drag. The breach in the tube would
act as sort of an air brake. So it’s a natural brake
to slow down the pod. And so in that way, it
will slow to a stop. And in terms of if
there’s like a breach on a particular
section of tube, what’s not shown in any
of these pictures is like these sluice gates, for
lack of a better word, which are bulkheads between
sections of tube so that you can
isolate a problem. And all the vehicles are in
communication with each other so they know the pod
upstream is having a problem, and they can all slow
down accordingly. How do you plan on keeping
the pod from rolling? Are you planning on
stabilizing it [INAUDIBLE] Yeah, so definitely
banking in the turns, trying to take the
majority of the g loads down through the center
line of any person. And stabilization,
just trying to think about what I want to say here
without giving too much away. The part where it’s
actively powered, the motor gives that guidance
in that particular spot. And then when we’re not
guidance, the track design, you know, think of yaw
control on a plane or roll control on a plane. How do they mitigate
those type of things? They’ve got ailerons in
different spots on the plane to do that. And we’re doing that with a
active system that’s actually giving the lateral
stability side and adjusting our
suspension system, kind of control parameters. So there is a suspension
system on there to deal with any
bumps or hiccups that may be in the track. What is the [INAUDIBLE] So right now, it’s going
to be for the dev site straight off the grid. And that’s really
the path forward. Because if we go straight
with like solar on the tube, like the original
white paper talk, that limits the throughput. You know, there’s only a finite
amount of energy it can catch. So we can certainly continue
to put solar on the top, but it will be directly
tied into the grid. And we’ll have a
energy buffering system so that we’re not
pulsing this power. So we’ve sort of got
a continuous drain, and then we’ve got
effectively something like a capacitor or the like
to discharge these pulse power. So for the compressor,
[INAUDIBLE] a lot of power to it. Can you talk about
how [INAUDIBLE] So with the
compressor, the design that we’re looking at now
is a self-contained design. We’re not running it,
you know, we’re not based on the air bearings, so
we don’t have to cool that. So effectively, we
can compress the air and actually do nothing to
it, if we really wanted to, and just dump the hot,
compressed air out the back and let it equalize or reach
an equilibrium with the tube structure. So that’s the nice
aspect of it, is you’re just adding compression
work to the raw gas itself, and then you don’t have
to heat exchange with it if you don’t want. And in the extreme
case, long-term, you can recover some of that
power through a couple of ways, or you can translate
into thrust or you can do a whole host
of different things. You had mentioned the
Hyperloop going underwater. Do you know how
deep it would go? How it would be supported? Yeah, so definitely
not at the bottom. Good. I think we’ve got a position
on here, hydraulic engineer. You got it. Definitely not at the bottom,
not at the surface either. But around 60 to
80 meters, there’s something really
special that happens, which is absolutely nothing. It’s below the deepest of ships. In areas near the
shoreline, you can easily anchor to the bottom for that. We’ve got a couple of
ideas, a couple of concepts, I should say, that we’ve
taken some serious look at that aren’t anchored
to the sea floor. There are other things. I’m not going to talk
about the details of them, but in principle, ones
that are near shore are conventional type
of pipeline technology that are just not
designed to operate on the bottom of the sea. You mentioned how the
propulsion is basically a series of pulses
along the track. So how does that detract from
the pod’s ability to brake? So the braking and
the propulsion system are– let me kind
of clear it up. There’s a main propulsion
system and there’s sort of a main catch system. So your destination
terminal, you’ll have something
that looks exactly like the thing that
accelerated catch it, re-capture that
energy regeneratively, just like a Prius
does or a hybrid does. In terms of stopping
in the middle, there’s the ability
to onboard adjust the way we’re doing the
levitation system that can make it far more draggy. And that allows us
to control the speed in a slow down type of setting. And then you can also, with
a bit more active control, you can, to an
extent, speed it up. But we don’t want to
do that all that much because it puts a lot of
extra machinery on the pod. How are you going
to deal with loading and unloading to maintain
the vacuum pressure? So right now we haven’t
focused a lot of time on the station design. There’s a lot of deep technical
work on the concept itself. So on the dev loop,
we’ve got a holding cell, so to speak, at the
one end of tube. Pod comes in, the main
section of the tube, the long section of the
tube’s kind of continuously held at vacuum. And then this section
comes in airlock style, opens up and moves through. And the real
challenge with that is when we get to a
specific route and we say, what throughput do
we need on this route, how do you design the station? And this isn’t going to look
like an airplane terminal. This is not going to be
like a big shopping mall. You’re going to interact with
this very similar to how you interact with a roller coaster. So we live in a world where
there’s still going to be TSA, but you’re not helping
me get through TSA to catch the one and only
flight that leaves at 10:20. You’re going to get
there and you say, OK, I’m going to San Francisco,
or I’m going to wherever. And this discrete
movement, you know, there’s 20 other people
that are getting there. And if you missed the
10:20, you get on the 10:25, get on the 10:30. So there’ll still
be that security, but you’re not like
hoping to get through it. It’s just kind of a fact of
life, the world we live in. And then the specific
route will dictate what the station looks like,
what kind of throughput do we need. But you can hop on it like
you do a roller coaster. It’s not like boarding a plane. You can see the throughput
that Disney World has. And that type of logistics is
really integral to the station design. Which do you consider the
bigger commercial prospect– cargo or passengers? I think passengers
is far more sexy. Passengers is what
gets people attention. Like getting cargo
faster is less tangible than you getting
somewhere faster. So ultimately I think people
will be what sells Hyperloop. But just like UberX is
subsidized by Uber BLACK, you know, I think cargo will
subsidize people to an extent so that the people
routes will be trying to keep a reasonable cost
target for people to do that. And you know, it’s kind
of a wishy-washy answer. But at the same time,
it’s very route specific. So if you looked at a
Shanghai to Moscow route, that’s probably more
cargo than it is people. But if you look at
a SF to LA route, that’s a lot more
people than it is cargo. So I think long-term,
it’s going to be much more visible from the
people side, but we’re going to get our chops
wet on the cargo. [INAUDIBLE] working
class [INAUDIBLE] So right now we know what
people pay for high speed rail. And we’ve talked about us
having about a 60% capital cost of that. And we know that our
operating cost is lower because we’re using less
energy and we’re not grinding steel wheels on steel rail. We’ve got kind of a
contactless system. So we know both of those
things are cheaper. So we know we’re
going to be at least, you know, 25%, if not more,
cheaper for a given route type of cost compared
to high speed rail. So that’s really
the starting point. And then depending
upon the market, there’s different ways that you
can incentivize certain routes or loss leaders versus
money makers and whatnot. But yeah, it’ll be, just from
the CAPX and the OPEX alone, it’ll be cheaper than
the existing modes. So right now it’s kind
of a one way loop. Are you thinking
about return loops– Always– at least
a two way tube. At least. There’s some routes that demand
more than that, and most likely there will be the ability
to at least have three so that if there’s
maintenance or something that needs to happen, you’re
not going to shut down, you know, SF to LA. You said the pod will accelerate
from 0 to 300 miles per hour in 2 seconds? How will the passengers
deal with that acceleration? On dev loop, not in real life. Not in real life. Not in real life. Well, what kind of acceleration
are we talking about? Airplane acceleration. Airplane acceleration? Yes. Yup, and that’s from a
passenger comfort side. This is so that we can
showcase the core elements of the technology without
buying 10 kilometers of tube. Yeah. So the real ones will
be 0.2 g’s or so. And then the d
cell one is the one that people feel less
comfortable with because it feels like you’re falling over. So that one will probably
be a lower value. And there’s quite a few good
standards out there for FAA, and then the actually
derivative acceleration called jerk, which
is that feeling when you hop on the elevator
and your knees get weak, it’s what gives you whiplash,
all that other good stuff. So that actually limits
your acceleration more than the other points. It’s keeping that like
controlled environment. Are both passenger and cargo
going to use the same track? They can. So the carbon container that
you saw on the one slide is our baseline
for the pod size. So that’s a standard 40
foot by 8 by 8 and 1/2 foot carbon container. There’s hundreds of thousands,
not millions of them in the world. And that physical
volume is the same size as the passenger compartment. And that seats
typically 20 to 30 in first class style train
seating with an aisle in the center and everything. So same tube. From the outside, it’s going
to look like the same pod. [INAUDIBLE] safety
of the tube itself because you’re building
a long tube you want to minimize costs. But [INAUDIBLE] Yes. So there’s quite
a few really great design standards out there
for civil codes and everything like that that give
factors of safety in terms of live loads,
stability, collapse, or effectively buckling. And this will all be
to those standards. And we’re designing
for 100 year life, not the 50 year life of
conventional, sort of, highways. So does it require a
new path or can you use existing railroad [INAUDIBLE] So yes, it can. Short answer, yes. The biggest limitation
is how windy it is. And ultimately, like
that one route I showed was actually following the
existing rail line, which is somewhat speed limiting. And that’s where we’ll
have to really do quite a bit of
land acquisition is when we do that optimization. If we have to follow
a specific route, what does that do to time? What penalties are
we paying for that? So in theory, yes. And we can actually go above
the existing infrastructure. However, I think that’s going
to really limit our performance. [INAUDIBLE] natural disasters
such as tornadoes in Oklahoma or hurricanes in South Florida? Probably got a little bit
more direct experience with the earthquakes stuff
that we’ve been looking. So the standard design practice
for earthquakes in California is pretty rigorous. And using that
information, and we know there’s different levels
with the different magnitude earthquakes. 1 is basically earthquake safe. I don’t remember the exact
numbers, but say 5.0 hits. You can’t have the system
shut down or have anything, it needs to be OK. 7.0 happens, then you’ve
got the ability to like, hey, that’s pretty
infrequent, so you’re going to have to come out
and do some inspection, do some maintenance
or fixes to that. And based on our levitation
system and the g loading and the braking and
all that other stuff, we know what deflections we
can tolerate in the track. And so then we’ll
reverse basically design the rest of the system so
that under those once every 200 year, once every 100 year
earthquake levels based on the codes, that we end
up with the– the system doesn’t respond more than
what’s really tolerable. So that’s probably an
indirect way to answer that. We’re robust to all but
the worst of the worst. [INAUDIBLE] I actually haven’t
thought about that one, so I don’t have a really
distinct answer for you. No, it’s a good question. But on the outside
of the tube for sure, there’s a passivation element
from a corrosion standpoint. And you know, right now
that looks like concrete. So how well does that perform? And yeah. That’s probably all
I’ve got for you. Good question though. So you’ve kind of switched
from using air floatation, but you still have a
compressor [INAUDIBLE]. Have you considered using that
compressor to just capture air instead of ejecting
it out the back so that you can
maintain the vacuum? Because you’re already
compressing it. It seems like you’re
duplicating the hardware there. Or would it increase the
vehicle costs too much? The compressor does a couple of
different things on the front. It essentially helps
control your pod to tube ratio, your
diameter ratio effectively. And then it also controls, to
extent, the amount of aero drag that’s over the pod. So it’s a bit of a balancing
act in terms of that performance optimization, is what
size compressor do you want in the front and how
much compression do you want. And that’s really very dependent
upon the cost assumptions that we’ve got is really
the biggest driver as opposed to
performance because we could have no compressor,
become very drag heavy, right? And then we just shift all
that load onto the track, and we have to have
more boost stations. But those boost
stations are expensive. So where does the trade happen? And based on the
routes we’ve looked at, it’s different from
route to route. So we’re trying to kind of find
a good optimum for most routes so that we don’t end up with
this pod can’t go in this tube and this tube
can’t use that pod. I’ll do one more. You mentioned that
the teams would be [INAUDIBLE] so
I’m just wondering in case of an air contamination,
how long would it require [INAUDIBLE] On the development loop one? Yeah, for the two-mile
long tube. [INAUDIBLE] long time [INAUDIBLE] So right now, we can pull with
the pumps that we’ve sized and that we’re
planning on using, that can pull down within
four hours, two miles. And it’s really just
a question of cost, is how often do you
want to pull it down, because if you want to
pull it down faster, you just buy more pumps. All right. Well, thanks for having me.

7 comments

I would like to see more African Americans involved in this new type of Technology and because of it size IMO I believe the Continent of Africa would be a Good Market for this Technology as well…God Bless!

Connecting cities by laying a vacuum-tube through the ocean?

Sorry for being so negative, I am mildly optimistic about the Hyperloop thing…, But while watching this opening I got a very strong "Marketing-BS-Cloud-Cuckoo-Land-Free-Lunch-Free-Energy-Scam" vibe.

And here I was, thinking this is Purdue, not Hollywood…

I think connecting SF with LA via the land corridor offers (probably by far) the most favourable conditions in the "Western World" for realizing a Hyperloop connection – and I think it might actually be viable to build it there. But under the ocean? Just because the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes it seem easy to put something in the ocean doesn't make it so in the real world…

PS:
3:37 "Move it anywhere"? 4:10 "Easy access"?
Sure, building grading for a railway sounds difficult – but good luck building a vacuum-tube on stilts in an area which is difficult to access (think mountains), move the tubes there, get cranes there (and build places to put the cranes so they can operate), get repair crews there… Unless that is to get some sort of "easy access" you build some sort of grading…

PPS:
Anyway, what is an acceptable change of incline at 1200 km/h? You know, without launching your passengers with their drinks to the ceiling of an Hyperloop pod?

PPPS:
Servicing any "conventional" railway is pain in the ass – servicing a very very long vacuum tube, now that is eyewatering.

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