The Tesla and SpaceX CEO is credited with thinking up the idea of Hyperloop just 2 years ago, and now the first line is set to be constructed in an area next to Interstate 5 in California. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has agreed a deal with a developer for the construction of a 5-mile long line, writes Phil Lebeau for NBC News.
First Hyperloop line in the world
“This is big step,” said Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of the JumpStartFund, which created Hyperloop Transportation Technologies last year. “It’s time to take the Hyperloop from concept and design and build the first one.”
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Although Musk was the brains behind the idea, he has been busy working on Tesla and SpaceX projects, and has not been actively working on or funding Hyperloop research. However it has been taken on by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, who are pushing ahead in the development of the project.
“This is a phased process. We’ve done feasibility studies and now we will be able test all aspects of the Hyperloop,” said Ahlborn.
An important testing facility
Hyperloop envisions the transportation of people in capsules pushed through a series of tubes at high speeds, and the construction of the first line will allow real-life testing of the idea.
Ahlborn predicts that the 5-mile line will cost around $100 million to construct, with building starting next year and finishing in 2019. Musk himself recently announced plans to construct a Hyperloop test line in Texas.
The California line will be funded by an IPO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, and Ahlborn hopes to raise at least $100 million when the company comes to market later this year.
“We’ve been contacting potential suppliers and we think this first commercial application of the Hyperloop will be successful when it is built,” he said.
It is encouraging to see the technology finally being brought to life, and if it can be proved to be a viable alternative to traditional methods of transportation then we could soon be hurtling along tubes in capsules in order to move around.