It appears Hyperloop technology is inching closer to reality after Hyperloop One announced this week it had narrowed its list to 11 possible U.S. projects.
The Los Angeles-based company did not include a proposal involving Arizona as a finalist -- the nearest one would connect Los Angeles to San Diego in 12.5 minutes.
The longest proposal would connect Cheyenne, Wyoming to Houston, covering 1,152 miles in under two hours, with stops along Colorado's Front Range and in Amarillo and Dallas/Fort Worth along the way.
Though none of the Hyperloop One proposed projects would run though the Grand Canyon State, a team called AZLoop is a finalist for a SpaceX project that would connect Phoenix to San Diego in a half-hour.
All this Hyperloop talk has us thinking, though: How long would it take to get around the Valley in a Hyperloop pod?
I sat at my desk for 45 minutes trying to figure out a formula to calculate just that, and I think I've come up with one (if you're a mathematician, any correction is welcome).
So, you'd be able to go from one corner of the Valley to another -- Sun City West to Queen Creek (nearly 50 miles) -- in 5 minutes, 20 seconds.
Hyperlooping from Sky Harbor to Flagstaff would take just 11 minutes, 36 seconds.
People in Tucson who want to take a weekend in Vegas would only have to ride for about 32 minutes, 16 seconds.
It may be a far-out thought, but given the resources currently being devoted to Hyperloop projects, it's possible we could see it sooner than we think.
To calculate the Hyperloop distance between two places given these parameters, use this formula:
(distance - 12.514 mi x .194444 mi/s) + 128 s = travel time
Assuming the Hyperloop accelerates at .5 g, or roughly 11 miles per hour per second (which is what some have deemed the greatest safe acceleration for Hyperloop), it'd take 64 seconds to reach a top speed of 700 miles per hour, covering 6.257 miles.
If we decelerate at the same rate we accelerate, it should mirror the same time and distance on both ends of a given journey, meaning the time spent and space covered would be the same, so we simply doubled it.