Ex-Cisco President Predicts Elon Musk’s S.F.-L.A. Hyperloop Will Transform Labor Markets

Rob Lloyd, who took over as CEO of Hyperloop Technologies Inc. in September after leaving his job as president at Cisco Systems, made some bold predictions about Elon Musk’s ultra-high-speed transit plans for California on Wednesday.

Governments around the world will want Hyperloops of their own once they understand what it can do for their economies, he told CNBC while attending the Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland.

“You can move people or goods in excess of 700 miles an hour, (and) you can move them on demand,” he said.

When he took the Hyperloop job a few months ago, Lloyd projected that the first test systems were still two or three years away. But he said he believed goods and people will be moved through high-speed tubes in about five years.

Ultimately they say they will be able to shoot passengers and cargo in tubes between L.A. and San Francisco in just 30 minutes.

The idea has had its doubters since Musk first floated it in 2013. The extremely high cost of land in California, the not-in-my-backyard opposition that high-speed rail ran into in the state and high g-force impact on passengers of rocketing rapidly from zero to 700 miles per hour are just a few of the concerns.

But Lloyd believes the promise of Musk’s vision will be fulfilled.

“We can actually see areas of the world that just can clearly understand the economic advantage of Hyperloop,” Lloyd said. “They can see how labor markets could change, how economic efficiency could be driven, and we expect that very top level support for Hyperloop will emerge.”

Hyperloop has been seeking about $80 million in new funding this fall. It previously raised about $11.1 million in funding from San Francisco-based Formation 8 and Sherpa Capital, Texas-based Crispian Venture Capital and China-based ZhenFund.

The company was co-founded by early SpaceX team member Brogan BamBrogan — who moved to the role of chief technology officer when Lloyd came aboard — and Sherpa’s Shervin Pishevar.

Its other board members include Joe Lonsdale of Formation 8 and Palantir Technologies, Zenefits Chief Operating Officer David O. Sacks, Singularity University co-founder Peter Diamandis, Barack Obama adviser Jim Messina of the Messina Group and Emily White, Snapchat’s former COO who is an ex-Facebook executive.

Source: Silicon Valley Business Journal, Cromwell Schubarth
Photo: Passengers will ride in Hyperloop capsules that can take them between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 30 minutes, if the company delivers on its promises. (Tesla Motors)