Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) has announced it will start work $6bn Hyperloop test track within the next two to three weeks.
The system, which will be solar powered, could transport over ten million passengers during testing, according to Dezeen, HTT will build the track in Kings County, California.
It is expected to take around two years and cost $6bn (£3.89bn) to build. The Hyperloop system, first proposed by Elon Musk in 2013, has since been beset with obstacles including amendments to Musk’s original white paper and difficulties getting planning permission.
The test track will be limited to 160mph with passengers on board but empty carriages will be tested at speeds up to 780mph. G-force in the system would be similar to those experienced by Formula 1 drivers, and tubes would mostly be straight in order to minimise stress and strain.
Hyperloop also has ambitions roll out globally. As an example, HTT said a route from London to Glasgow would cost between £3.9 and £5.2bn and reduce journey times to 30 minutes, Dezeen reports.
HTT, the company setup by Musk to develop Hyperloop technologies, plans to fund the project by using the track as a giant billboard, as well as reselling excess electricity. This, it hopes, would allow the system to be cheaper than air, road or bus transit — or even free.
Speaking at the Transport to the Future event in London, Bibop Gresta, COO of HTT, said Hyperloop would be “the closest thing to tele-transportation”. “It will change humanity,” he said.
Engineers and scientists from the likes of Boeing, Nasa, Yahoo!, Airbus, SpaceX and Salesforce have been working on various parts of the project. A fully realised system would allow passengers to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just thirty minutes.
And, according to a post by Musk on the Tesla blog, Hyperloop would be “safer, faster and lower cost” than current transit systems. It would also, he claimed, be “immune to weather, sustainably self-powering, resistant to earthquakes and not disruptive to those along the route”.