Electric roads to the Hyperloop: Our Jetsons future starts now
This was the rare week when an innovative transportation scheme captivated America's imagination. After months of expectation, on Monday Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Hyperloop, a giant vacuum tube designed to whisk passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco at nearly 800 miles per hour, completing a 520-mile journey in a mere 40 minutes. By now, attentive readers have experienced all the dizzying spins of the Hyperloop news cycle: anticipation, excitement, backlash, rebound.
Love it, hate it or just forget about it: the Hyperloop isn't even the most exciting transit technology of the month. (New York City had a pneumatic train back in 1870, after all.)
No, that distinction goes to a road in the South Korean city of Gumi. While Musk and company were dotting their i's and crossing their t's in the 57-page Hyperloop proposal, Gumi (population 375,000) transformed a common section of road into something extraordinary: a wireless charging strip for electric vehicles. They may have reinvented the road.