First Full-Scale Hyperloop to Carry Passengers in 2019

Friday, 22 January 2016 - 1:36PM
Science News
Friday, 22 January 2016 - 1:36PM
First Full-Scale Hyperloop to Carry Passengers in 2019
Move over self-driving cars, here comes the hyperloop, an insanely ambitious high-speed transportation system that will be able to carry passengers at up to 760 miles per hour.

The company behind the hyperloop has filed permits to begin construction in Quay Valley, California, where it plans to build a five mile track. That track will be fully operational by 2018 - and an even larger one could be operational and open to the public in three years.

Opening quote
"In 36 months, we will have the first passenger in the first full-scale hyperloop," Bibop Gresta, COO of Hyperloop Transportation told CNBC.
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The hyperloop works by transporting a number of passengers in high-speed capsules, which could get you from LA to San Francisco in only thirty minutes. 

Opening quote
"After two and half years of research and development, our team has reached another important milestone; this will be the world's first passenger-ready Hyperloop system," said CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Dirk Ahlborn. "Everyone traveling on California's I-16 in 2016 will be able to see our activities from the freeway."
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Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is competing with another company, Hyperloop Technologies, to construct the first track. Despite similar names and goals - the rivals are vastly differennt. Hyperloop Transportation is a world-wide "movement" of 450 engineers, scientist, anti-terrorism experts, and others who banded together on a crowdsourcing website. The employees largely fund the company and work part-time for equity; most have day jobs at places like Boeing and NASA.

Hyperloop Technologies, on the other hand, is a classic tech start-up with $37 million in venture funds, an industrial-chic office, and 72 full time employees. They also recently acquired 50 acres of land in North Las Vegas, and a test track is supposed to be completed by the first quarter of 2016. Musk himself is building a track in Texas but the dates for completion are yet to be confirmed.

"We can build a hyperloop today," Brogan BamBrogan, co-founder and CTO for Hyperloop Technologies, told the Wall Street Journal. "It would just be extremely expensive." Musk has suggested that a SF to LA hyperloop would cost $6 billion, or $11.5 million per mile. 

Both companies claim to have held early-stage talks with governments in more than 10 countries, including China, India, and the U.K, toward building a hyperloop by 2020, suggesting long-reaching prospects for a once-fictional idea. Both companies believe that the first full-scale hyperloops will be built outside of the U.S. in part because of the government support required. 

Nonetheless, the race to build the first passenger-ready track is sure to be an exciting one.
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