Hyperloop Transportation Technologies says it’s about to break ground on a full scale test track for it’s revolutionary future travel means, the Hyperloop, which will take passengers through steel tubes at speeds potentially up to 760mph (1223 km/h). For those that dream of the future, even this might have seemed a long way off.
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“Imagine a capsule filled with people that’s hovering inside the tube. Inside the tube you create a low pressure environment very similar to an airplane that’s at high altitudes. So now the capsule travelling inside the tubes doesn’t encounter as much resistance, and so therefore can travel really fast with very little energy“, says Hyperloop Transportation Technologies CEO, Dirk Ahlborn.
No accidents, environmentally friendly and tickets that cost next to nothing: This was once an idea drawn out by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, but it’s Dirk Ahlborn that’s also trying to make it a reality. Musk’s SpaceX are planning a track and asking others to design the pods that will carry passengers. But Ahlborn and his company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) are about to build their own in California. HTT are about to break ground on the test track next year in Quay Valley. But that, he says, is just the beginning: “So do we need a ticket? Are there other ways of creating revenue? The pylons are just out of concrete – so you can have concrete that cleans the air, you can have gardens in them, you could have bee hives inside those concrete pylons, different energy solutions, so there’s lots of things that we can do to create a new cutting edge technology.”
It’s not just the technology that Ahlborn is pioneering either. He and his team of around 360 people at HTT have been able to push forward so quickly by crowdsourcing talent and labour. That means they could be carrying passengers in just a couple of years. “Quay Valley going to be full scale, we’re going to move around 10 million people a year, it’s going to be opening up in 2018,” says Ahlborn.
That could mean tucking into your starter in Vienna and polishing off your dessert in London. A once distant dream that now looks closer than ever to reality.