Nightly News   |  August 12, 2013

The future of transit? Hyperloop design unveiled

One of the world’s most visionary entrepreneurs, Elon Musk, says he wants to revolutionize the way we travel. On Monday he unveiled a new design for a transportation system that would move up to 700 miles per hour on a magnetic levitation system. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>>> back now with what was one of the biggest talkers of the day. the proposal by veteran entrepreneur to revolutionize the way we travel faster and cheaper. he was up all night working on the design before he released it today. after anyone else, the world probably wouldn't notice, but this is ilan musk. nbc's tom costello reports.

>> reporter: what if going from point a to point b quickly no longer involved plane, trains, or automobiles?

>> bye!

>> reporter: think "the jetsons." not jets. one of the world's most invisionary auentrepreneurs says it's no longer fiction. and l.a. to san francisco in just 30 minutes . may sound crazy but consider ilan muvg's track record. the 42-year-old billionaire invented the battery car, the first to document a rocket with a space station . his idea has passengers traveling on a magnetic levitation system inside airless low pressure tubes similar to those used by drive-through bank tellers. only passengers travel up to 700 miles per hour. meanwhile, a colorado company calmed et d-3 has been working on this for years.

>> if there's a concerted effort to do it, that route can be built in a year or two.

>> reporter: even if it worked, lining up the financing and clearing the regulatory hurdle would make the project impossible , at least in the near term. on the other hand, this is ilan musk we're talking about. the inspiration for the iron man's tony stark character. the iron man suit sits on the factory floor.

>> can you save the world? save the country?

>> i'll do my best. you know. working pretty hard to do some good here.

>> reporter: musk says he doesn't have time to actually build hyperloop and is hoping others will make his dream become reality. tom costello, nbc news, washington.