Billionaire Elon Musk unveils the 'Hyperloop': a futuristic high speed transport technology

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Billionaire philanthropist Elon Musk has unveiled details of a new high-speed transport system that could put planes and trains out of business.

According to reports, the new technology, called Hyperloop, would consist of a tube with Concorde-like seating inside able to send passengers at 800 miles an hour on a cushion of compressed air.

The tubes would be launched by a rail gun type launcher. The tube would shoot through an elevated structure with pods mounted above the ground on columns 50 to 100 yards (45 to 91 metres) apart or through an underground tunnel, using a maglev like system, like the "floating force" of an air hockey table.

It would cost $6 billion with people-only pods with as many as 28 passengers, or $10 billion for the larger pods capable of holding people and cars.

The tubes would be at least three times faster than a bullet train and twice as fast as an airplane.

Powered by solar technology, the transport would also be cheaper than conventional methods.

The 'Hyperloop', designed to link cities less than 1,000 miles apart, could cover the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 30 minutes.

According to the Telegraph, the system could be built within seven years.

A planned high-speed rail link for California, scheduled for 2029, is expected to cost $68 billion.

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