1. It will travel at 800mph
As outlined, the Hyperloop would be capable of traveling faster than the speed of sound. To put that in perspective, a trip on the Hyperloop from LA to SF -- the route initially proposed by Musk -- would take just 35 minutes, compared to a six-hour drive, or hour-plus commercial flight. If you assume a straight line and no stops, that would mean a trip on a Hyperloop track between LA and New York would take just three hours, or approximately one viewing of The Wolf of Wall Street.
2. The passenger pods float inside giant steel tubes using magnetic pressure You know those pneumatic tubes at the bank drive-up window that you use to shoot the teller your deposit slip? Imagine that, but big enough to fit a couple dozen passengers, and you've got the right idea. Musk's plan involves using magnets to propel aerodynamic capsules (where the people will sit) through giant steel tubes, sidestepping any friction by keeping it afloat on a constant pressurized cushion of air.
3. Actual pod concepts will be competing on a Hyperloop test track this year
Based on Elon Musk’s track record, you’d be silly to underestimate him. However, it’s pretty wild how close we are to seeing a real, live Hyperloop in action. Just last month, Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX hosted a competition of 120 teams of high school and college students, challenging them to come up with innovative Hyperloop pod designs (MIT took the top spot, by the way). Additionally, the construction of test tracks in California and Nevada is underway, where the students will test their pod designs later this year.
4. It's self-powering
One of the biggest draws for a Hyperloop, besides speed of course, is that it would be eco-friendly and self-sustaining. The design, as outlined by Musk, involves topping the steel tubes with solar panels, which store the energy that powers the air compressors that cushion the pods, as well as other vital components. Enough energy would be stored so that even at night or in cloudy weather the Hyperloop could continue operating normally.