SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A futuristic high-speed transit system that could shuttle people between Los Angeles and San Francisco in only 30 minutes, just sped a bit closer to reality.
The “Hyperloop,” floated in 2014 by Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, would hypothetically enable passengers to travel in suspended pods through low-pressure tubes at more than 750 miles per hour. CBS News reports it’s still not known if the technology is feasible or safe.
Navigant Research says another firm, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, has inked a deal with Central California landowners to build a five-mile test track along Interstate 5.
Ryan Citron, a research analyst at Navigant, says Hyperloop struck a deal for the first such test track in the world to be located in Quay Valley, California.
“Having it in that area is pretty ideal, but five miles is pretty short considering it’s a 400 mile journey between the two cities. As a starter it’s okay, but the issue with the five miles is that they won’t be able to get it going as quickly as originally envisioned by Elon Musk. This pilot system’s only going to travel about 200 miles per hour, whereas the original and desired Hyperloop is going to be close to 800 miles an hour.”
Citron said at least 100 miles of track are needed to reach maximum speeds. Estimates for the cost of the test track are about $100 million, according to Citron, with most of the funding coming from an initial public offering (IPO) later this year by Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.
Musk has stepped aside from the project and seems to be willing to let other entrepreneurs take this on. However, he does have plans to build his own five-mile loop, possibly in Texas, for potential Hyperloop designs.