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Are Traffic Lights the Real Hyperloop?

At some point, presumably while idling in his Tesla Model S on a clogged freeway in Los Angeles or San Francisco - which account for a remarkable 9 of the 10 most congested roads in the country - Elon Musk decided he’d had it with waiting around in cars. So he dreamed up the Hyperloop, a transportation system that can, in theory, rocket people between Los Angeles in San Francisco in just over 30 minutes. For people making one of the annual 6 million five-and-a-half hour trips between these two cities, the Hyperloop sounds like a spectacular - and frankly, spectacularly cool - idea. But for the rest of the world (which is often forgotten about in California), and ironically, even for those stuck in standstill L.A. traffic in a 400 horsepower car yearning to be free, there’s something out there with far more potential than the Hyperloop: 2% better traffic lights.

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Are Traffic Lights the Real Hyperloop?

September 6, 2013 3 minute read

At some point, presumably while idling in his Tesla Model S on a clogged freeway in Los Angeles or San Francisco - which account for a remarkable 9 of the 10 most congested roads in the country - Elon Musk decided he’d had it with waiting around in cars. So he dreamed up the Hyperloop, a transportation system that can, in theory, rocket people between Los Angeles in San Francisco in just over 30 minutes. For people making one of the annual 6 million five-and-a-half hour trips between these two cities, the Hyperloop sounds like a spectacular - and frankly, spectacularly cool - idea. But for the rest of the world (which is often forgotten about in California), and ironically, even for those stuck in standstill L.A. traffic in a 400 horsepower car yearning to be free, there’s something out there with far more potential than the Hyperloop: 2% better traffic lights.

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Benn Stancil

Co-founder & Chief Analytics Officer

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