Hyperloop One Has a Plan to Link Up With Self-Driving Cars

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Hyperloop, the vacuum-sealed train of the future, has the potential to completely change how we travel between cities — and once we get there, integrated self-driving vehicles will take us the extra mile. Hyperloop One, one of the companies aiming to bring Elon Musk’s vision for super-rapid transit to life, has a grand plan to bring together autonomous driving, smartphones, and superfast trains.

“With a simple software push you can basically make anything Hyperloop enabled,” co-founder Josh Giegel said in an interview with Factor-Tech published Monday. “So were really extending it to go door-to-door faster than you’ve gone before.”

The idea, which is still open to modification, is that users will download an app to key in their destination. A self-driving car will come and pick you up from your location: Hyperloop One could pick you up in one of their cars, or a third party like Uber could provide the same service. Alternatively, if you own an autonomous car of your own, you could summon it through the same app. Once you’re in the car, it will drive directly to the nearest portal. The car will exit the Hyperloop once you’ve reached the destination city, then drive you the rest of the way.

The 700 mph train journey offers potentially major time savings: the train ride from Los Angeles to San Francisco, ordinarily a day-long trip, could take as little as 30 minutes. Hyperloop One recently announced the last 35 finalists for its grand competition to bring the technology to a metro area: one day, the company hopes to link these metro area trains together, meaning that one trip in a self-driving car could take you halfway across the world in unimaginably fast time.

Pricing details are yet to be announced, but the company is aiming for affordability, as summarized in the company’s motto: “The speed of an airplane, the convenience of a metro, the comfort of an elevator, the cost of a bus ticket.”

Watch a preview of Hyperloop One here: