The construction of an ultra-speed transportation network called Hyperloop is planned to start in central California next year. The concept belongs to Elon Musk, founder and product architect of innovative companies SpaceX and Tesla Motors, and will be implemented by the company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT). The futuristic transit system will allow passengers to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in only half an hour and at a cost of just $20 per ticket.
According to the Musk’s vision, the Hyperloop is a 400-mile long network of above-ground tubes with very low air pressure inside them, which allows bus-sized capsules to travel through those tubes at near supersonic speeds (approaching 800 mph). However, in reality the track will be only 5 miles long and the transportation capsules will reach the speed up to 200 mph.
“This five-mile stretch will allow us to completely test the technology, from the boarding process to the safety procedures – really everything except top speed,” HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn said.
The high-speed transportation system will be located between Francisco and Los Angeles, in the self-sustaining residential community called Quay Valley. It will be a 75,000-resident city powered exclusively by solar energy and containing 25,000 housing units, as well as schools, entertainment infrastructure and a business park.
The construction of Quay Valley is also expected to start in 2016.
According to the originator of the concept, Quay Hays, such non-polluting public transportation network as the Hyperloop will be a perfect fit for his futuristic city. “With Quay Valley, we’re creating a community built on economical, environmental and social sustainability, and part of this is seeking to reduce car dependency. For these reasons, the Hyperloop is the ideal clean community transit system for Quay Valley,” he said.
Despite the fact that the whole concept looks pretty grandiose, Ahlborn emphasizes that the project is quite real and goes much further than being a scaled-down model:
“Our agreement with Quay Valley is a major milestone in the advancement of the Hyperloop project. This installation will allow us to demonstrate all systems on a full scale.”
Almost 200 engineers from NASA, Yahoo! and Airbus are involved in the project realization. There is also a group of 25 students from University of California (UCLA) working on different issues including cost estimate, route planning, and capsule design.
The estimated cost of the project is $100 million and is expected to be funded through a direct public offering, which will start later this year. The Hyperloop is planned to be finished and launched between 2019 and 2025. How exciting!
Images: Hyperloop Transportation Tech.
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