Travelling in vacuum tubes may sound like science fiction. It is very futuristic and a head start towards building smart cities and high tech suburbs. Really, it is just something you can watch in movies. Imagine travelling in tubes and crossing cities in just minutes. It sounds absurd and crazy. It’s called Hyperloop!
And now, it’s getting real.
From a 57-page concept paper proposed by SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk in 2013, companies are now invested to construct and demonstrate a test run of the Hyperloop this 2016. The Hyperloop Transportation Technologies recently announced its signed agreements to partner with Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum and Aecom, an engineering design firm. All companies will share its expertise in engineering design and construction in exchange for stock options in the company. The teams will consist of engineers and scientists from NASA, Boeing, SpaceX and Tesla moonlighting in the said Hyperloop project.
As per the project, the company aims to create a transportation system running faster than the speed of light at a potential of 760 mph. HTT bought a land field last year in Quay Valley for the construction of the Hyperloop. It aims to connect the HTT’s test track to the nearby solar powered concept city being built in King’s County in California as its main transportation system. The test track will be 5 miles long and will take 8 minutes travel time to the concept city. The release date will be at the end of 2016.
Also, this year, SpaceX announced its pod prototype competition opened to engineering students and other research entities to be tested on a 1-mile track near its headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The target testing will be held in summer this year. According to their website, though their aim is not to develop a commercial Hyperloop for themselves, SpaceX are interested in assisting and accelerating the development of a functional prototype.
Another company, called HyperloopTechnologies, is also setting its own tracks for testing in the California desert.
Seriously, the tube transportation is really happening.