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The Pipe Dream: A Roundaloop?

21st-century ground transportation:

Envisioned by Elon Musk.

Traveling from Point A to Point B seems (and can literally be) pedestrian. In the modern world, there seem to be far too many detours, connecting flights, complications and mind-numbing traffic patterns to conceptualize a simplistic, easy-going path from Point A to Point B.

Then a big idea happened. And then that big idea was built and tested.

And what happens next?

Innovator Elon Musk founded The Boring Company, which is the firm that is building the Hyperloop (featured in the video above). While people won’t be lining up just yet to experience this futuristic form of transportation, the fact that a proof of concept has been achieved is a giant first step towards the reimagined American railroad. To be more precise, the reimagined American train and railroad system.

The Boring Company has essentially taken the archaic railroad system from 19th and 20th centuries and created a significantly faster 21st-century upgrade. Is it the right upgrade? Is the Hyperloop the next great innovative masterpiece in transportation we’ve been waiting for? Would you ride in the Hyperloop?

Fortunately, there’s a model (actually, a few models) to follow for judging the future progress and success of Hyperloop’s introduction to the American traveler, current and new:

Tesla.

Now, who is the co-founder and CEO of that innovative car company…?

Electrically Engineering a T into a 3

gallery-1459487318-model-3-unveil

(Tesla Model 3)

Tesla Motors is the conservative argument for positively responding to climate change/global warming/global cooling/environmental issues.

Tesla announced Thursday that it has received 325,000 preorders for its recently unveiled Model 3. If it sells every car that’s been reserved, the company says it will earn enough revenue to make this the “biggest one-week launch of any product ever.”
–Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge

One single car using gas or one single power plant is not the problem, but it’s the cumulative effect of millions of drivers or hundreds of power plants that has a meaningful impact on the release of carbon emissions into the air. Therefore, with cars, the goal is to present the marketplace with affordable, high-quality options.

Enter Elon Musk and his burgeoning company, Tesla Motors, that’s appropriately named after famed inventor Nikola Tesla.

This tech-driven company (see what I did there) is clearly being rewarded by anxiously excited followers for its ingenuity, hard-work, determination and recognition of a demand that’s marketed to a large portion of the American people to consider and even reserve for purchase next year.

Innovation is and has always been the right path towards a bright future that empowers the individual and then, as a result, empowers the collective. One electric car will not make a difference, but millions of electric cars on the road will change the carbon emissions equation. The power of individualism, innovation and opportunity must be taught and encouraged to this generation and future generations because of the incentives and the how inventiveness has benefited societies throughout history.

The iPhone was not dreamed up because of a tech regulation. Neither was the transportation revolution known as Henry Ford’s Model T, which was the first affordable automobile designed, built and produced for the American people roughly 100 years ago.

The close rhyming between 3 and T was a nice touch, Mr. Musk.

Conversely, what sense does it make to penalize consumers/the public with environmentally strangling regulations (especially without a Kung Fu grip on Mother Nature) and policies that punish people and companies? Photo-ops at these high-profile gatherings, where the focus is to cast blame and then reward a relatively select few participants with control and influence over the many, doesn’t project a hopeful future, especially when the measures taken amount to a gesture instead of a silver bullet.

Fiscal pain and high-minded barriers will not solve substantial problems. By high-minded, that refers to opponents of industries some deem unacceptable (like coal), but who have no better or ready alternatives for those workers who need to feed and provide for themselves and/or their families. Nobody likes pollution and some regulations are good and necessary, but, like government, figuring out policies to keep the regulatory code as small as possible is best.

There’s a paramount difference between idealism rooted in reality (conservatism) and idealism floating around in fantasy (liberalism).

Regardless of the extent that people across the political spectrum believe in global warming or global cooling (100%, 50%, 25%, 7.4%), the most important issues going forward are agreeing on a common goal and determining the most intelligent and economical approach.

We should strive for a carbon emissions-free future, achieved through empowering the engine of innovation.

In many cases,

  • Innovation = Revolutions by and for the people
  • Regulation = Power, control and influence over the people by and for a select few

$27,500 for the Tesla Model 3 (with $7,500 tax credit).

This inviting price point will attract car buyers in the 5-Star safety rated, 5-seat sedan in the $25K-$35K market, which will directly challenge car models from household names Toyota and Honda and even Lexus, Mercedes and Audi. If the Model 3 is successful and proves to have a reliable re-charging infrastructure and if (the recommended) nightly charging pattern for the 215-mile battery range like your smartphone results in a future worth the investment, then the conversation to join the names Elon Musk and Henry Ford in the same sentence in history books will begin.

People, once again, have an opportunity to change the world by buying a car.

Tesla Motors is a prime example of dreaming big, showcasing the power of the individual, American ingenuity and supplying a demand that could very well revolutionize cars, the transportation grid and solving a problem with carbon emissions in the environment with a positive, captivating solution that’s generating a magnetic appeal to its products and brand.

The Model 3’s engine may be nearly silent, but it still sounds like a revolution…

Reinventing the Wheel

How do you change the wheel?

Enter 21st century innovation.

Goodyear tires, familiar to anybody who has ever seen or owned a car (or looked up during a college football game), has dedicated its resources to envisioning a wondrous future of driving. In the real world, life-altering advancements take time, brilliance, money, luck, ingenuity, patience and courage.

And let’s not forget persistence.

Will the public (and not just investors) buy-in to a game-changing innovation?

When it comes to cars and the sad realities of inevitable accidents, repairs, flat tires, and a variety of inconveniences and limitations, people are exhausted at the same old routines of car parts not withstanding basic road conditions as they were promised at the dealership. In the same spirit as Dyson and its revolutionary design (for vacuums) of a rotating ball for limitless agility, Goodyear has released a video of a tire that could very well change the way we drive in the future that doesn’t involve the terrifying concept of a driver-less car.

That’s a very cool idea.

Did I just say tires are cool?

Yes, yes I did.

Not only do the Goodyear Eagle-360 concept tires have the realistic potential to be marketable, but these tires could transform how roads are designed in the future. At the highest level, this country’s infrastructure could be directly impacted by this tire design. Innovation takes time to become a valued and reliable product with people. There are many, many stages of development, retooling and testing.

With all that being said, that daring first step is always exciting.

It gets the ball rolling.

Zooming Through the Looking Glass

The next several months could redefine the future of transportation in the 21st century.

The startup company Hyperloop Technologies — which takes its name from Elon Musk’s proposed invention but has no direct connection to him — announced today that it will build a test track for the ultra-fast transportation service in North Las Vegas, Nevada…The company plans to test its custom designed electric motor to speeds of up to 540 km/hour (about 335 mph) on a 1 km (about 0.62 miles) long track.
Lindsey Kratochwill, “The Hyperloop Will Begin Testing in Nevada in 2016”

Airfares continue to increase and flying attire and attitude have become far too casual, trains have limited rail systems and nobody wants to use (or at least admit) that they’ve traveled on a Greyhound bus. Like energy, alternatives to traveling from Point A to Point B are actively being explored. The Hyperloop is just the latest example that proves innovation is where the brightest future resides.

The consequence of living in a minute-to-minute (even second-to-second) society has undeniably reached the transportation sector. People crave immediacy.

Here is a video illustration of future travel that would break the (speed) limits as we know them today.

Ladies and gentlemen: The Hyperloop.

If the forthcoming tests during the first part of next year are positive for this Jetsons-like method of conveyance, the public’s reaction and inquiry will be aimed directly at Hyperloop’s team at 100 miles per hour.

Well, technically 335 miles per hour.