Elon Musk’s Hyperloop is becoming a reality next year

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When it was first proposed to the public, Elon Musk’s Hyperloop was received like how most geniuses’ ideas ahead of their time were, with puzzlement and outright incredulity. It was just a rough idea of how mass transportation could be made much faster, cheaper, and safer in the near future.

But now, the challenge of turning Musk’s super high-speed rail system vision into a reality has been taken up by a team of 100 engineers from places like NASA and Boeing who recently formed Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT). Led by CEO Dirk Ahlborn and with the assistance of some UCLA graduate students, HTT said that it would create a version of the 800 mile per hour train service—originally meant to transport passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles—within a decade. Which is perfectly fine because, although Musk himself is credited with the Hyperloop idea, he has stated that he was too busy with SpaceX and Tesla to develop the project?

HTT has now signed a deal to develop a five-mile Hyperloop track in Quay Valley, halfway between San Francisco and LA. Construction is scheduled to start next year. The trains won’t reach the Hyperloop’s theoretical top speed of 800 mph (almost 1300 kmph, many more kms of track are required to reach those speeds), but they’ll give the company a chance to see whether or not the technology actually works in a public setting. The project will cost $100 million, which will be raised through an expected initial public offering of HTT later this year.

That’s not all though. Musk is also back on the Hyperloop train, and is already building his own Hyperloop test track in Texas.  But HTT says Musk’s track is a scaled-down model, allowing for easier testing of the physics involved. Whereas HTT’s track will be designed for human passengers, testing the passenger systems, but will come with other limitations.

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