exploring intelligent predictions exploring contingent understanding composing precise contingencies delivering critical insights computing contingent wisdom mapping the future formulating predictive forecasts aggregating definitive contingencies delivering critical forecasts crowdsourcing definitive insights aggregating precise estimations modeling intelligent futures computing critical futures assembling critical estimations

Question

Metaculus Help: Spread the word

If you like Metaculus, tell your friends! Share this question via Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit.

Will a successful proof of concept for a hyperloop be demonstrated by mid-2017?

In 2013, after several months of hints, Elon Musk and SpaceX released a white paper describing a new mode of transport dubbed the "hyperloop." The design calls for a pod in a low-pressure tube system; the pod rides on a cushion of air to eliminate friction with a track, and the low-pressure tube dramatically reduces air drag.

The resulting design could achieve speeds near 760 miles per hour, taking passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 35 minutes. Compare that to the California High Speed Rail (CHSR) project, still under construction, which aspires to make the same journey in just under three hours at around a quarter of the speed. Musk proposed the Hyperloop as not just a more ambitious and futuristic alternative to CHSR; Hyperloop aspires to be safer, cheaper, and self-powering.

After initial skepticism, a consensus emerged that the Hyperloop idea is credible, and rather rapidly, several independent efforts to develop the Hyperloop concept began. At present, teams from the U.S. and abroad are preparing to present their own Hyperloop designs at the [design weekend] at Texas A&M University. Top designs will be tested at the SpaceX test track (also in construction) in California.

Meanwhile, the other two prominent hyperloop companies, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) and Hyperloop Technologies Inc. (HTI), compete to create their own Hyperloops; these will be operational at subsonic speeds, far below 800 mph but still faster than the CHSR projected speed. This means that prototype hyperloop technology may be demonstrated by one or more organizations as early as 2016.

The basic requirements that we'll use to define a Hyperloop are as follows. A pod or capsule in a tube of at least 2 m cross-section, suspended in an environment at pressures less than 1000 Pascals. A successful test is accomplished if the hyperloop transports a passenger load of at least 50 kg while reaching speeds of at least 300 km/h.

Will there be a successful demonstration of a Hyperloop by June 15, 2017?

(Updated 4/07: dropped acceleration limit of 0.5 g from criteria for success.)

{{qctrl.predictionString()}}

Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site

Community Stats

Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.