Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Transportation took a step ahead to the launch
Skeptics tend to view Elon Musk’s proposed “hyperloop” high-speed transportation system as a beautiful dream, unlikely to become real.But apparently, it’s a dream many share.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, one of two start-ups formed to pursue the concept, announced today that its core team of engineers and designers has now grown past 400 people. And HTT, as the firm likes to abbreviate itself, has also formed partnerships with companies whose expertise could come in handy. Those include Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum, specialists in vacuum technology, and AECOM, which designs and builds large-scale infrastructure. Hodgetts + Fungarchitects are also on board.
“HTT’s technology is very exciting and could have a significant impact on transportation infrastructure in the future,” said Andrew Liu, vice president of new ventures at AECOM.
As first proposed by Musk in 2013, the hyperloop would whisk travellers between cities at speeds topping 760 miles per hour. Passengers would ride inside pods shooting through a network of low-pressure tubes, with the pods surfing electromagnetic pulses rather than carrying engines of their own.
Musk, the serial entrepreneur behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX, invited other people to purse the idea, saying he already had enough on his plate. One start-up, Hyperloop Technologies, has taken the traditional tech route of keeping quiet about its plans. HTT, in contrast, operates as an open-source project, inviting people to work on different aspects of the system. They work in teams, each committing to a minimum weekly time requirement, in exchange for stock options in the company. HTT plans a public stock offering of $150 million by the end of the year.
If the offering proves successful, the company will use that money to build a five-mile version of the hyperloop at a new, planned community in California’s Central Valley, along Interstate 5. HTT hopes to break ground in May.
Musk, meanwhile, has his own plans for pushing the hyperloop idea. SpaceX in June announced a contest for student engineers to design hyperloop pods, with the private spacecraft company promising to build a test track for them adjacent to its Southern California headquarters.