760 MPH Pipe Dream: Elon Musk Eyes Texas Site For Exotic Hyperloop Test Track
Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk couldn't stop talking about the future of transportation in 2013, and specifically about Hyperloop, an ultra high-speed vacuum transport system that could shuttle you to your destination at a frighteningly fast pace (think in the neighborhood of 800 miles per hour!). Though things have been quiet on the Hyperloop front as of late, Musk is still determined to see the project through, starting with a test track in Texas.
There aren't a ton of details to go on at this point, but through a series of Twitter posts, we know that Musk is planning to build a Hyperloop test track for companies and student teams to test out their prototype pod designs. And as for being in Texas, that's not a done deal, though it is the "most likely" location, Musk stated.
Image Source: Flickr (Sam Churchill)
This is a pretty big commitment -- assuming he goes through with the test track; it will be the first physical implementation of what's been a series of ideas and conceptual design schematics up to this point. That doesn't mean that we'll all be taking Hyperloop trips across the country in the near future, but it is a giant first step in the direction of high-speed transportation.
It's also encouraging because it means that Musk is still committed to the idea. That wasn't a given, considering that we haven't heard much from him in regards to Hyperloop since 2013 -- instead, he's been focused on the Tesla Model 3 more recently.
In case you need a refresher, the Hyperloop concept is one that uses an enclosed tube propped way up off the ground. It would use a magnetic levitation system that's similar to high-speed bullet trains, but with passengers traveling in capsules across a surface with very little friction. Musk envisions a San Francisco to Los Angeles route that would have an average speed of around 598 mph and could reach a top speed of 760 mph. However, it’s said that a six-passenger capsule roughly the size of an automobile could hit speeds of 4,000 MPH on longer distance, international runs.