Entrepreneurship

Tel Aviv to Eilat in 7 minutes: The first Hyperloop will be in Israel

The first trip from Tel Aviv to Eilat is scheduled to take place in July 2015, and is anticipated to take exactly 7:06 minutes. Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi is leading the project together with Elon Musk in collaboration with a Japanese team.


Credit: Elon Musk Document

Credit: Elon Musk Document

Is the public transportation problem in Israel solved once and for all? Geektime learned that the Hyperloop project, initiated by serial entrepreneur billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, will launch with special collaboration with the Ministry of Transportation, Better Place and Japanese Taigo. The project will cost about $10 billion. The Hyperloop will launch its first route from Tel Aviv to Eilat on July 2015, prior to the local tourist season, which is expected to be particularly busy with visitors arriving to experience the modern transportation.

Israel first

According to information received by Geektime, secret talks began in August 2010 between the Ministry of Transportation and Elon Musk, who appreciated Israel’s advanced startup scene and visited Tel Aviv 12 times over the past two years in his private plane. According to sources, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz was involved in the talks.

Geektime also learned that the project will be conducted in Israel by Shai Agassi, former CEO of Better Place, but he insisted that the Ministry of Transportation will lead the project on behalf of the Israeli government during negotiations with Musk. Together, the Ministry of Transportation agreed, along with Musk, on the appointment of a Japanese company to take part in the technological aspects of the project. The company was chosen personally by Musk’s secretive selection process conducted in Japan under heavy fog and in full cooperation with the Japanese authorities.

Credit: Mail sent from Musk to Ministry of Transportation. Screenshot

Credit: Mail sent from Musk to Ministry of Transportation. Screenshot

According to sources with knowledge of the selection process, Musk chose Japanese Taigo, headed by Ishimoto Tadahiro. While Agassi, together with the Ministry of Transportation was responsible for planning the infrastructure between Tel Aviv and Eilat, Tadahiro was responsible for building the Hyperloop and experimental components of the project. So far it has been a great success and has been based more or less on a document published by Musk in August 2013, knowing of course that the project will be taking shape in Israel.

100 passengers every 30 seconds

Geektime also learned that the first trips will have a driver supervisor through the end of the beta period of the project, which is expected to be completed around November 2015. Trips will then be completely automatic and unsupervised. The exact route of the Hyperloop and location of the infrastructure could not be published at this time, but we know that the project is under heavy security through a unique collaboration between special units.

Pods of the complex Hyperloop will be connected by long steel pipes with installed solar panels on their backs. In the first stage small cars will only carry passengers, but sources close to the project told us that in the future they will be able to maximize cargo pods for cars and other heavy trucks. The travel schedule of the Hyperloop is based on pods with 10 passengers, and every 30 seconds about 10 pods would leave their stations and will arrive within the precise time frame of 7:06 minutes from Tel Aviv to Eilat, 24 hours a day. The travel time on the way back from Eilat to Tel Aviv will be extended by one second only and will take 7:07 minutes.

Credit: Elon Musk document

Credit: Elon Musk document

Drones instead of attendants

The high speed is possible thanks to the movement of the Hyperloop with low-pressure pipes, which will reduce the friction and allow the loop to reach a maximum speed of 1,280 mph, although in practice the pods do not reach top speed given the relatively short distance to travel. Geektime also learned that the Japanese team worked on the construction of unique Drones, developed by the French company Parrot, which will be coming to serve travelers soft drinks, coffee and cakes upon request, shortly before the start of the trip. Also, passengers will also be offered  tablets of sodium chloride in case they suffer from nausea. The price is likely to be more expensive than most public transportation although the price gap due to investors should be small.

Information provided to Geektime said travelers wishing to take part in the project in its beta stage, which is expected to start in July 2015, can do so by signing a dedicated web page, which will be distributed to various media outlets in the country along with a large-scale advertising campaign that will include billboards, advertising on radio, television, and banners on large sites in the country and abroad.

Elon Musk, Ishimoto Tadahiro, Ministry of Transportation and Shai Agassi would not respond to requests for comment.

 

 

This post is an April Fools day joke. It is (sadly) not true.

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