Blind Spot: Un-Hyping The Hyperloop

Hyperloop - picture courtesy

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk’s recent release of “alpha” designs for a “Hyperloop” transportation system made a huge splash in media and technology circles. Prepared with the help of engineers from Tesla and SpaceX, Hyperloop imagines rapid and efficient transit in the form of pods flying through a tube between Los Angeles and the San Francisco.

This bold vision easily created the kind of public splash that PR bosses at mainstream automakers can only dream of. At the same time, it highlighted Tesla’s dependence on the “visionary” exploits of its mercurial and overstretched CEO. This dependence is proving to be a brilliant tactic in the short term, but it has troubling implications on the firm’s long-term strategy.

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