Elon Musk is a seriously fascinating dude. During a Monday conference call explaining to the media his new Hyperloop design, it seemed like he could be talked into building a prototype the same way you or I could be swayed to super-size our orders of french fries.
"I am somewhat tempted to at least make a demonstration prototype," Musk said.
Never fear, fans of the future, for while Musk considers whether or not his day jobs commercializing space travel and electric vehicles leave him enough spare time to revolutionize public transit, Reddit is on the job.
The most popular thread on Musk's announcement has more than 5,000 comments from trolls and supportive self-professed engineers alike, but Subreddits are also springing up to try and organize a grassroots movement to get Hyperloop(s) built.
The Subreddit HyperloopCAProp has been gaining the most traction in the past 24 hours. Started by a recent college grad, its stated goal is organizing to ask California voters to repurpose the funds and planned route for a high-speed rail line for a Hyperloop instead.
The response thus far has been dozens of folks from across the country and many walks of life volunteering to help, along with a few calls for caution and more feasibility studies. A conservative version of the plan targets the 2016 ballot, while others are suggesting an aggressive timeline to bring the Hyperloop question to voters next year. As commenter jerodras put it:
This HAS to happen and it HAS to be California. It will be our generation's Hoover Dam. California's Chunnel. I have the motivation to gather 100,000 signatures myself. LET US MAKE THIS WORK.
And, of course, there's already a spartan Web site that was slapped up by another Redditor.
Not everyone on Reddit thinks California should lead the way this time, though. There are also some early rumblings that Texas and Florida could support their own Hyperloops. I'll go ahead and throw the notion of an Albuquerque-to-New York route out there as well. I sure could have used it recently (sorry, JetBlue.)
What do you think? Can the building of a Hyperloop be successfully crowdsourced in California or anywhere else?