Hyperloop Technologies Readies for First Test of Futuristic Transportation System

Elon Musk's dream of high speed travel keeps edging closer to reality.

ByALYSSA NEWCOMB
December 9, 2015, 1:48 PM

— -- Elon Musk's dream of the Hyperloop -- that's high-speed travel in large pneumatic tubes -- is edging closer to becoming a reality.

Musk isn't affiliated with any of the companies that have announced plans to bring his vision for high-speed travel on the ground to life and has instead made his 57-page plan available to anyone who wants work on it.

Hyperloop Technologies Inc., one of the companies dedicated to building the Hyperloop, announced this week it has secured 50 acres in Las Vegas. Hardware is expected to arrive on the site this month.

Set for the first quarter of next year, the first propulsion test will involve sending an electric motor along a 1-kilometer track at a speed of 540 km per hour (335 miles per hour.)

"This decision represents another major milestone in our journey to bring Hyperloop to commercial reality," Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop Technologies, said in a statement.

Musk first unveiled his futuristic idea in a 2013 report, calling it "a cross between a Concord, a rail gun and an air hockey table." The 57-page design plan was made available on both Tesla Motors' and SpaceX's blogs as a PDF available for download.

The Hyperloop is a large pneumatic tube, similar to the system used by some hospitals to transport documents, samples and medications in a more efficient manner. New York City also relied on a network of pneumatic tubes to transport mail during the first half of the 20th century.

For human travel, Musk's plan calls for mounting a large fan to the front of a pod, which would re-direct high pressure to the rear of the capsule, facilitating even higher speeds. The result: the Hyperloop could carry travelers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in half an hour.

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