By RichMacf CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
When Elon Musk came out with the idea for the Hyperloop back in 2013, not many people saw it as something that might actually come to life in the future. The idea of a transportation system where people would be packed into pods that would then be shot at the speed of 745mph in a vacuum tube just seemed too far out. Then there was the name. Although no one really mentioned this fact, the name Hyperloop just does not sound serious.
And for a while, we heard nothing about it. Until a few days ago when we learned that Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (the organization behind it all, HTT for short) will commence the construction of a test track in California sometime in November.
The $6 billion plan so far include building a five mile track where the various technologies (including the pods) will be researched and developed. The initial idea is to do passenger tests at speeds not exceeding 160mph. That being said, empty pods will be tested at the proposed full speeds of between 740 and 760 miles per hour.
In addition to this test track in Quay Valley, it was revealed that another similar track will be constructed in Texas, giving the opportunity to other companies to try out their pod designs as well.
The construction of the test tracks is expected to take at least 2 to 3 years and the entire system is not exactly around the corner. What is more, once it is ready for commercial use the system will probably first be put in action in other countries where the political will is more pronounced and where regulatory obstacles are more easily overcome.