Track to the Future

  • Aired:  08/14/13
  •  | Views: 40,439

Billionaire Elon Musk designs a high-speed transit system that's a cross between a railgun, a Concorde supersonic airliner and an air hockey table. (5:54)

>> John: WELCOME BACK.

WELCOME BACK.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

THERE IS EXCITING NEWS COMING IN

FROM THE FUTURE.

>> IMAGINE TRAVELING FROM L.A.

TO SAN FRANCISCO, 400 MILES, IN

JUST HALF AN HOUR.

>> John: OKAY, OKAY, DONE.

I'M GOING TO IMAGINE IT RIGHT

NOW.

OKAY.

I'M IN LOS ANGELES.

I'VE GOT AN AVOCADO WRAP AND A

JAMBA JUICE.

I'M TALKING TO A PRODUCER WHO IS

BOTH A BIG FAN OF ME AND ALSO

DOES NOT KNOW MY NAME.

NOW IT'S HALF AN HOUR LATER.

I'M IN SAN FRANCISCO AND I'M

WISHING I HAD BROUGHT A JACKET

BECAUSE IT'S AUGUST AND IT'S

ALWAYS [BLEEP] COLD THERE.

I KNOW WHY YOU LEFT YOUR HEART

IN SAN FRANCISCO, TONY BENNETT.

IT'S FREEZING AND IT WILL KEEP

IT ALIVE.

BUT, LOOK.

THIS SOUNDS LIKE EXCITING

TECHNOLOGY.

SO WHAT IS THIS THING?

>> A REVOLUTIONARY

TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM CALLED THE

HYPER LOOP.

>> A PNEUMATIC TUBE THAT WOULD

CARRY PASSENGERS AS FAST AS 800

MILES AN HOUR IN ALUMINUM

CAPSULES.

>> John: AN 800-MILE-AN-HOUR

HYPER LOOP.

YOU KNOW THOSE OLD OFFICE TUBES

THEY USED TO FIRE DOCUMENTS

AROUND IN, IN THE 1950s?

WELL, NOW IMAGINE A MOUSE

CRAWLED INTO ONE OF THOSE TUBES.

NOW IMAGINE THAT IT WASN'T A

MOUSE.

IT WAS YOU.

AND NOW JUST SIT BACK AND RELAX

IN THAT ALUMINUM CAPSULE AND

ENJOY A HALF AN HOUR OF THIS.

>> OH, MY GOD!

John: LOOK, THE MORE

IMPORTANT POINT IS ASK

YOURSELVES THIS.

IS THAT EXPERIENCE REALLY

SIGNIFICANTLY WORSE THAN A

FLIGHT ON DELTA?

>> WHOA, DELTA!

John: SO, WHO IS BEHIND ALL

THIS?

>> ELON MUSK THE TECHNICAL

GENIUS WHO INVENTED THE SPACE-X

PROGRAM, THE GUY BEHIND PAY PAL.

>> John: OH, YES, PAY PAL.

IT'S THAT STERLING EXAMPLE IS

ANY INDICATION I'M SURE THAT

PASSENGERS CAN LOOK FORWARD TO

HAVING THEIR TRANSIT CAPSULES

FROZEN WITHOUT WARNING AND THEN

WAITING SEVERAL WEEKS FOR

CUSTOMER SERVICE TO EVEN

ACKNOWLEDGE IT.

>> PAY PAL!

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

>> John: THAT IS LITERALLY TOO

KIND.

THIS HYPER LOOP THING IS A HUGE

IDEA.

BUT IS IT EVEN GOING TO WORK?

>> IT MAY SOUND CRAZY BUT

CONSIDER ELON MUSK'S TRACK

RECORD.

THE 42-YEAR-OLD BILLIONAIRE WHO

FOUNDED PAY PAL INVENTEDDED THE

BREAKTHROUGH TESLA BATTERY CAR

AND WAS THE FIRST TO DOCK A

COMMERCIAL ROCKET WITH A SPACE

STATION.

THIS IS ELON MUSK THE

INSPIRATION FOR THE IRON MAN'S

TONY STAR CHARACTER.

>> John: WRONG AGAIN THERE IS NO

POSSIBLE WAY THAT ELON MUSK

COULD HAVE INSPIRED THAT

CHARACTER BECAUSE HE WAS BORN IN

1971 AND TONY STARK FIRST

APPEARED IN 1963.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

THIS IS BASIC FACT-CHECKING.

THESE KINDS OF MISTAKES HAVE TO

STOP.

THIS IS A CATASTROPHIC ERROR.

YOU'VE PUSHED ME TOO FAR.

OKAY.

I WASN'T EXPECTING QUITE SO MANY

PEOPLE TO EMPATHIZE.

CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME

HOW THIS TECHNOLOGY WORKS.

>> NOW LOOK THIS THING WILL

TRAVEL AT ABOUT 500 MILES AN

HOUR.

>> OKAY.

THIS THING WILL TRAVEL AT

ABOUT... THAT'S A BULLET TRAIN,

150 MILES AN HOUR.

>> VERY FAST.

THIS THING WILL TRAVEL AT

12,000 MILES AN HOUR.

>> AIRPLANES AND TRAINS AND

SHUTTLES.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS.

>> John: THIS IS HOW IT WORKS.

THIS IS HOW IT WORKS.

I AM A ROBOT.

I AM A ROBOT.

I'M HERE TO TAKE YOU TO SAN

FRANCISCO.

EVERYONE IS DEAD.

EVERYONE IS DEAD.

SHOCK NATO.

NOW IT'S A DANCE PARTY.

OKAY.

CLEARLY NO ONE IN THE MEDIA IS

ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THIS STORY.

SO LET'S GO TO THE HORSE'S

MOUTH.

LET'S HEAR IT STRAIGHT FROM THE

MUSK.

WHAT IS THIS THING?

>> THIS IS A CONCORDE, A RAIL

GUN AND AN AIR HOCKEY TABLE.

>> John: OKAY.

IT'S A CROSS BETWEEN A CONCORDE,

A RAIL GUN AND AN AIR HOCKEY

TABLE.

THAT IS NOT AN EXPLANATION.

THAT'S NAMING THREE THINGS THAT

SOUND FAST.

IT'S A CROSS BETWEEN A

SPEEDBOAT, A CHEETAH AND GET YOU

TO DOHAR IN 15 MINUTES.

ACCORDING TO MY CAL CUE LAYINGS

AN ACTUAL CROSS BETWEEN A

CONCORDE, AN AIR GUN AND AN AIR

HOCKEY TABLE WOULD LOOK LIKE

THIS.

THAT WOULD ACTUALLY BE AN

AMAZING WAY TO GET TO SAN

FRANCISCO.

THE TRUTH IS, STORIES LIKE THIS

ARE ACTUALLY SOME OF MY

FAVORITES.

THEY'RE INSPIRING BECAUSE THEY

REMIND US THAT THE FUTURE IS

GOING TO HOLD YOU AND EXCITING

INNOVATIONS AND THE GREAT MINDS

IN OUR SOCIETY WILL ALWAYS BE

THERE TO PUSH US FORWARD.

AND ACHIEVE THE UNIMAGINABLE.

>> MUSK SAYS HE DOESN'T HAVE

TIME TO ACTUALLY BUILD HYPER

LOOP.

HE'S HOPING OTHERS WILL MAKE HIS

DREAM BECOME REALITY.

>> John: WHAT THE [BLEEP]?

THAT'S LIKE SAYING, HEY, YOU

KNOW WHAT WE SHOULD DO?

FIND A VACCINE FOR CANCER.

SOMEONE GET ON THAT.

JUST THE IDEA IS MINE.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

[ CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ]

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