Remember how back in the day buildings, especially office buildings used to have those pneumatic tubes that delivered mail throughout them? Well, what if we built one of those systems for transporting people? Some parties are already on that, as hyperloop track prototypes to be built by three companies.
- SpaceX’s Elon Musk rejuvenated the decades long idea in 2013
- AECOM, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc., and Hyperloop Technologies Inc. are the tree that are going to build prototype tracks
- The tracks are meant to transport people at 750 miles per hour
- They are also hoped to make the 400 mile long trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco in half an hour
- All three companies are based in Southern California
It would look like Futurama got it right once again, as the future of transportation might be a bunch of pneumatic tubes through which passengers are to be transported at speeds nearing that of sound.
The idea kept reappearing throughout the decades ever since the conception of the pneumatic tubes used in office buildings, but it got revitalized once again in 2013, when Elon Musk proposed a series of elevated tubes to transport capsules specifically designed to transport humans and cargo over very long distances.
Hyperloop is what the means of transportation will be called, and if done right, it will employ the use of solar power, magnets, and near vacuum to transport people at speeds of 750 miles per hour – almost the speed of sound.
Even though Elon Musk brought the idea back, he claims that he does not want his AECOM company to develop the Hyperloop for commercial use, and that he instead wants to just speed up the development.
AECOM, as well as the similarly named Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc., and Hyperloop Technologies Inc. are the three companies that are planning to try and develop prototype tracks for the old but new means of transportation, some having better ideas than the others.
SpaceX’s sister company will build a one mile track near the Los Angeles International Airport, and they will host a competition for participants willing to to design the capsules for the track. Estimates say that this will happen by the end of the summer.
Meanwhile, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. will build a five mile test track in California’s farming regions, parallel to Interstate 5.
Hyperloop Technologies Inc., on the other hand, will build their prototype track somewhere North of Las Vegas.
Both of these latter companies are also planning to build full-scale prototypes, as well as capsules, to test out the functionality.
Image source: Wikimedia