Friday, July 21, 2017

Hyperexcited for the Hyperbolic Hyperloop, or just Hyperbole?

Elon Musk tweeted this week that by the end of calendar year 2017, digging is set to begin on vacuum-sealed tunnels between key U.S. cities, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and D.C.. However, further press investigation found that there is little to substantiate these claims. There is a lack of official government approval, not to mention validation from the city officials from the cited cities.

In a time where the U.S. population is overly-sensitive to ‘fake news’, it is initially a bit puzzling why such a prominent figure in the tech and travel space would make such a dramatic announcement sure to get audience reaction. One hypothesis is that he is kickstarting the consumer adoption process early. Many studies have been done over the years proving that humans cannot keep up with the advancement of technology. This is tangential to Moore’s law that states computer processing power will double every two years, meanwhile consumers have yet to full convert to technologies like mobile pay that have been out on the market for over two years.

Adapting to new forms of transportation will be dramatic for both cities and commuters. Generating PR efforts early around the conversation and adoption could be advantageous when getting buy in from key stakeholders, namely the government. The 2016 election drove activism among the American people, and perhaps Elon Musk will use this type of behavior to have his future consumers influence their local and state governments to provide support. I do think he will not have much trouble garnering support among New Yorkers as I can say firsthand, that transportation is in need of an upgrade here!

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