It is supposedly many years until Elon Musk’s futuristic Hyperloop transport system is commercially available, but there could be a five mile section built as early as next year.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), which is a crowdsourced team of geniuses, has said it will build the track on a five-mile plot of land in Quay Valley, which is halfway between Interstate 5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The company will put more than $100 million into the project, which is says it will aim to raise later this year.
Elon Musk envisages a 400 mile stretch of the futuristic transport system running between San Francisco and LA, but the HTT version will be much shorter, although it will be a full-size version and not some kind of scale model.
“It’s not a test track,” HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn said recently.
The aim of the track is to figure out some of the more practical elements of the Hyperloop’s design, such as the design of the ‘pods’ and boarding procedures. The company wants to built a larger track, which will also determine whether it’s really even feasible. The technology is said to allow speeds of up to 800 miles per hour, shuttling passengers between the two cities in California in just 30 minutes. At the moment, driving takes 8 hours and flying takes an hour.
Just last month, Elon Musk said that he will build his own Hyperloop test track in Texas, but the difference between his and the HTT one is that the billionaire that owns Tesla seems to have unlimited funds (and he created the concept in the first place). HTT has around 200 engineers contributing to the project, so there’s certainly not a lack of brainpower working on it.
If it gets off the ground next year, it will be an amazing feat of engineering, but everything is slowly coming together. It seems that the Hyperloop might actually be reality soon, rather than just science fiction.
Is the Hyperloop the future of long distance travel? Would you use it rather than flying? Let us know in the comments below.