Now "Back to the Future Day" has come and passed, it’s safe to say we’re living in the future. In apt timing, a test track for the Hyperloop will soon begin construction in California. It may sound like the transportation used in the "Jetsons" or "Futurama," but believe it or not, it’s kicking off in two to three weeks.
The Hyperloop is a super-fast rail system that will transport passengers at speeds of up to 760 miles per hour (1,200 kph) via powerful vacuums and magnets. When up and running, the Hyperloop will be fully powered by renewable energy. The company even expects to make a surplus of energy that they plan on selling back into the grid.
The test track will cost around $6 billion (£3.9 billion) and will cover a 5-mile (8-kilometer) stretch in Quay Valley, California – the self-sufficient, solar-powered township that is still yet to be constructed. During the testing period, they hope to transport an estimated 10 million people, transporting an estimated 3,400 passengers per hour, and 24 million people each year.
Hyperloop is one of the countless projects under the belt of Elon Musk, the engineer, inventor and entrepreneur involved with ventures such as SpaceX, Tesla Motors and PayPal.
Bibop Gresta, the company’s deputy chairman, announced the plans at the Construct//Disrupt conference last night in London. At the event, he said, "You can substitute the entire flight industry from Los Angeles to San Francisco with one tube, four times. Now if this will not disrupt the air industry I don't know what will."
Gresta added: "It will change completely humanity."
Hyperloop won’t just stay confined to the super-rich and ultra-techy corners of California. The company also has plans to build one between London and Glasgow, which could take as little as 30 minutes.
As exciting and intriguing as the news may be, it has received recent criticism for being vague and overly ambitious. However, it’s got the brains and the money behind it. Now, it just needs to deliver.