What is the Hyperloop, and Why does Elon Musk want to build it?

Imagine being able to get from New York City to Los Angeles in a fraction of the time it would take to fly? If Elon Musk has his way then that would certainly happen with the Hyperloop.  The Hyperloop would be similar to traveling in a tube at speeds topping 800 miles per hour.

The transport passengers in individual aluminum pods powered by turbines and solar energy in above-ground tubes.  The entire system would cost $6-10 billion to build, and make the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 35 minutes with tickets around $20. This is all the topic of a 57-page alpha white paper.

For those not familiar, Elon Musk is the genius behind electric car company Tesla and the space rocket company Space X.   e

Here is how the Hyperloop would work, Two tubes — one for each direction — would be mounted on pylons spaced between 50 and 100 meters apart.  The elevated platfrom would allow the land to still be usable  why still being able to withstand earthquakes.

Inside the tubes, each pod would be mounted on a pair of skis made out of inconel — the same metal that SpaceX uses to handle high heat and pressure — with air being pumped through small holes in the skis to create an air cushion. Combine that with magnets and an electromagnetic field, and you’ve got levitation with very little drag.

This will result in a transportation system that would be efficient, relatively cheaper and lead to quicker trips.  What are your thoughts on the hyperloop? Too ambitious?