Hyperloop: Hype or the Next Big Thing?

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Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Discern's Paul Saffo discusses the prospects for Hyperloop on Bloomberg Television's "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)

We are joined by our guest from stanford university.

Professor, thank you for being here.

Question --hyperloop.

Is it hype or the next big thing?

You folks on the east coast do not get it.

Poor elon, he has won office in san francisco and one in l.a., and and as all of us in the west coast know, planes just don't work.

Hey, you don't have to deal with weather out there.

What is it about this you think will work?

The physics are solid.

This idea sounds outrageous, but from a physics point of view, it is less outrageous than you would think, and frankly no nuttier than the idea that planes can go in the air without crashing.

It has been heavily to the.

-- it has been heavily studied.

Hyperloop is a great name.

It is a magnetic suspension vacuum tube linear system.

It is basically a train in a tube that does not touch the walls and goes real fast.

It is suspended in the tube and there is no friction.

Is that a fair way to think about it?

You have to pump the air out of it.

The speed -- elo n has hinted at it.

You would have to evacuated to 1/10 of one percent of the air pressure that we all are breathing.

In essence you are creating space.

Elon already understands space.

Where does he put it?

That is the interesting thing.

We hope it will be between san francisco and los angeles and you guys on the east coast wing it.

We are not bad guys over here.

You put it underground.

You tunnel lit.

-- it.

What about safety?

What are the issues around something like this?

With any new technology, there is always safety issues.

It is in a tube.

It is not going to hit a cow.

It is underground.

You would have to do safety systems.

It is more a question of unfamiliarity.

Lanes were unfamiliar once upon a time and people take it for granted that they do what they are supposed to do.

What about earthquakes in california?

Do you really want to get in a tunnel along the san andreas fault?

It is better to go along than across it.

Tokyo has run a high-speed trains on earthquake fault zones for years.

The train automatically slows it there is a quick.

The one wrinkle, if we are all right about the rumors, the one wrinkle is the cost of tunneling.

Tunneling technology today is pretty expensive.

At all the studies done in the 1970's assumed we would come up with a new tunneling technique.

High-pressure water jets, what is called flame application, using a powerful torch to dig through.

If you solve the tunneling problem, this is a very doable proposition.

Fascinating.

The next time you are in town, come over and we can prove we are ok guys here on the east coast.

Sure.

That's a deal.

Much more elon musk happening tonight.

Catch risktakers tonight at 9 p.m. eastern.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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