Startup plans test track

The hyperloop could be a futuristic California city’s public transit

A county halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles would be one of the first sites to host a hyperloop track under a plan revealed today by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, an organization that has been working to make the futuristic form of transportation a reality since it was announced by Elon Musk in 2013.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, which is not affiliated with Musk, signed a deal with developers for a tract of land in Quay Valley, California, where developers have proposed a 150,000-person city powered entirely by solar panels. It plans to begin building a five-mile test hyperloop track next year. It is scheduled to start running in 2019.

“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,” Quay Valley developer GROW Holdings’ CEO Quay Hays said in a release. “For these reasons, the Hyperloop is the ideal clean community transit system for Quay Valley.”

A rendering of the proposed test track.
A rendering of the proposed test track.

Musk’s hyperloop design calls for capsules large enough to carry passengers that pass through a steel tube at up to 800 miles per hour. The high speed is made possible by creating a near-vacuum in the tube, reducing drag.

“It’s like getting a ride on Space Mountain at Disneyland,” Musk told Businessweek in 2013. “It would have less lateral acceleration — which is what tends to make people feel motion sick — than a subway ride, as the pod banks against the tube like an airplane. Unlike an airplane, it is not subject to turbulence, so there are no sudden movements. It would feel super smooth.”

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies plans to pay for the test track with funds raised via an IPO later this year. It estimates it will need $100 million for construction.

The company was born via crowdfunding site JumpStartFund, where it also gathered its team via crowdsourcing. It now has some competition; Musk plans to build a five-mile hyperloop test track in a location like Texas, and Hyperloop Technologies, another startup unaffiliated with Musk, is considering using the technology for cargo transit, potentially in Las Vegas.

5 Responses to “The hyperloop could be a futuristic California city’s public transit”

  1. John Roberts

    This is beyond stupid… 100 million just for a test track, and BILLIONS for essentially a fast commuter train. Add up the numbers and it will be something like $1000/customer per ride… except that all the taxpayers will pay 95% of it whether we use it or not and the “users” will think it’s a great bargain while in la la land. People HATE crowding together on public transit. When they get to the other end, then what? Walk all day? Take expensive cabs? Take 12 buses? Screw that. People want their own point to point transportation where they can not get robbed or raped.

    Why not spend the billions on HOVERCRAFT research!!!

    • Dave Warner

      “People want their own point to point transportation where they can not get robbed or raped.”

      Because nobody has ever gotten robbed, raped, or kidnapped in a parking lot. Right. Got it.

      • exhibit44

        We are far from proof of concept, and that proof will be expensive, the payoff looks good. People have used low-pressure and vacuum for two centuries in manufacturing and medicine. Low-pressure has been used for 50 years in high-altitude flight. It’s not like the principles of this are novel to science.

        We can’t really sustain a system which pays for everyone to ride in a single automobile and live in a separate house. And MOST of the people who do that now couldn’t afford to do so without massive government subsidy through roads and mortgages. That era is over regardless of what some internet person thinks.