Hyperloop Test Track To Be Built In California

Next year Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is planning on breaking ground on a five mile test track for the Hyperloop concept as originally proposed by [Elon Musk] back in 2013.

It’s being built around Quay Valley, which is a large real-estate development in California. In addition to serving as a test-bed for different pod designs and to further the technology as a whole, they’re planning on being able to transport passengers at mind-boggling speeds (how’s 760mph sound?) by as soon as 2018. While [Elon Musk] has no real involvement in the company, he is extremely supportive of the company and seeing his idea come to life — who wouldn’t? He once described the Hyperloop concept rather eloquently…

If the Concorde, a rail gun and an air-hockey table had a three-way, the Hyperloop would be the love child.

That’s certainly one love child we’d like to see. Oh and the cost? Apparently only $150 million. Seems about right.

[via Popular Science]

58 thoughts on “Hyperloop Test Track To Be Built In California

  1. This week on Nerdest Dirk Ahlborn, and Bibop Gresta talk about their work on the Hyperloop. At one point during the interview they say given the shorter distances between LA, and San Fran, it probably won’t get up to its full speed.

  2. I’m not sure humans would survive the G’s on those curves at 760mph. Also, I hope they’re considering the marketing risks of something begotten by a 3-way involving the Concord. The thing was so expensive that few people flew on it.

    1. Luckily, aerospace research has allowed us to find out exactly how the human body is affected by g-forces, and calculating centripetal acceleration is something you can do with an eighth grade knowledge of physics.

      You seriously think they would get this far in the concept and go “whoops, we never checked to see if the forces would be survivable” ?

      1. I work in transit. Oops happen all the time. They catch most problems throughout the design process but not always. Talk to the French and retrofitting the stations for millions after making them too small (or the train are too big). By the way all transit projects are typically underestimated. Cutting edge stuff cost even more. Just look at the PRT and LIM Systems. It will have a hard time when it comes to the Hazard mitigation. At that speed, any failure would likely be fatal. I won’t hold my breath but reinventing the wheel is interesting. We will see what happens.

      2. >Air Force flight surgeon John Paul Stapp subjected himself to a number of extreme experiments in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s in order to acquire data on the human body’s ability to withstand extreme forces including rapid deceleration, exposure to high speed winds and other hazards associated with jet aircraft.

    2. Concord lasted 30 years which is a long run. It will be done in Dubai before the US from what I heard. Dubai will shell out the money to see if it works , the us and western europe would be interested.

        1. Maybe everyone?
          You’d be in a friggin’ tunnel, not on a racetrack or in a fighter jet. If for whatever reason there’d be a crash, no harness in the world would save you. All you would have to do during acceleration and deceleration is to sit down in your seat.

      1. A car accident at city speeds is more like 50G (very briefly). 100G is believed as the LD50…
        5G is more close to an F1 car stomping on the brakes from full speed to 0.

        p.s. “g” is reserved for grams, if you want the non-SI unit of acceleration, it’s “G” ;-)

    1. There are about 20 roller coasters in the world that subject riders to 5G (or slightly more.) 5G forces for any length of time would limit passengers to astronauts, air force pilots, and thrill seekers. There are quite a few roller coasters that are between 1 and 2 miles long, so a 5m test loop seems doable. (I don’t think there’s any way it would hit the 760mph top speed, though. One loop in 23s!) But a 30 minute trip from SF to LA with someone in your car who was sick during the initial acceleration would be SO not-pleasant.
      (although, it reminds me of older SF stories, where it was “expected” that passengers would be drugged to the gills to withstand the forces. Back when we had a different view of forced medication.)
      (The roller coaster analogy doesn’t make me feel very good about the likely boarding/de-boarding experience either.)

  3. OH BOY! Just one more thing that will cost more to operate than what it will bring in and we can subsidize it with taxpayer money. I’m all for progress and innovation, but it should be self sustaining.

    1. interesting conclusion given the announcement of a privately funded test, open conversations about the importance of ensuring it remains a profitable, private scheme, and your complete ignorance on the subject. I agree though, nothing would unleash my economic and creative freedom more than dumping all the economically unsustainable infrastructure costs of roads, tracks, airports, and maritime transport directly onto the users in proportion to their use. Not to mention electrical transmission, telecom, water treatment, water theft, oil & natural gas pipelines, and oil & natural gas extraction. More particularly I’d prefer to focus on the specific subsidies that enable you to waste everyone’s time with your useless opinion. Care to provide some details about your situation?

      1. Name a transportation industry that doesn’t receive subsidies. Given what is going on in business now days, I would be a fool to think they won’t take the money when they can. People lie. If nothing else the government will make money available to be able to exert some sort of control.

        1. You serve mankind with your preemptive strike against these duplicitous redistirubtionist pigs. I am glad i haave found a brother in arms, one who categorically denies all redistributionist schemes in all forms now and forever. We are in agreement. I just namedall transportation industries and virtually every infrastructure or major industry and translated your complaint to everything organized groups of men have been subjugated into supporting. All this spending is an abomination. A scourge upon man. Just think of how wonderful things would be without any state intervention in technology or infrastructure development, which have been destroying us for 8000 years. The heavy hand of government is boundless, beyond reproach Let us retreat to our nomadic ways, everyman for himself. Why surely without the coordinated effort of vast amounts of labor and redistribution of equally enormous amounts of capital and natural resources, the power of the individual would command progress from society by the sheer will of our love for freedom! Onward!!!

    2. “It will consume less electricity than we produce. We can resell electricity,” said Gresta. “In this model it will allow us to recoup the entire investment in six to eight years depending on where you build it.”

      “We’re able to do something that is not subsidised by the state. This is super important because 100 per cent of high-speed rail in the planet is subsidised by the state.”

      The people behind this project seem to disagree with you.

    3. Most transit is subsidized somehow. Federal highway money, subsidized rail and buses, federal air traffic controllers, etcetera. Subsidized transit provides a public good and reduces costs for running businesses (delivery, employee commutes, etc)

      1. “Subsidized transit provides a public good and reduces costs for running businesses” – NO. Not in a million years.
        If the state excels in something, it’s ineffectivity and excessive waste.
        How exactly does it reduce cost for anyone, when they have to pay taxes? This just creates an illusion that something is cheap, when it’s not, same with subsidizing food. If anything, state subsidizing INCREASES the cost (because of the associated bureaucracy), just short-sighted people fail to notice.
        Subsidizing also gives an unfair advantage to less efficient things, that would otherwise have to change in order to survive on a free market.

    4. That’s a “penny smart, dollar stupid” attitude you have there.

      – Californians spend 14 billion a year on gas while sitting in traffic.[1]*
      – They spend between 2 and 5 billion on health issues due to smog[2]
      – The drought caused by global climate change costs them about 2 billion a year, it has for the last 4 years and that figure is rising.[3]

      That’s only the economic costs of the first 3 things I thought of. Never mind the time lost sitting in traffic, the deaths smog causes, or any other factor caused by insufficient alternatives to cars. That’s 20 billion a year in negative externalities caused largely by cars, compared to the 3 billion spent a year on subsidizing their alternative[4].

      But, GOD FORBID we spend a couple hundred million more on public transport. That would just be, like, the worst thing ever possible because of the evil guberment…

      [1] http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/02/the-american-commuter-spends-38-hours-a-year-stuck-in-traffic/272905/
      [2] http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-what-new-smog-rules-mean-for-california-air-pollution-20150930-story.html
      [3]https://www.google.ca/search?q=cost+of+california+drought&oq=cost+of+california+drought
      [4]http://publictransport.about.com/od/Transit_Funding/a/California-Public-Transit-Funding.htm
      *based off the national average – considering LA and San Fran are ranked 2 and 3 in traffic it is actually proportionally higher.

      1. Pubic transportation doesn’t actually solve any of the issues you mentioned. It simply shifts them elsewhere, except the sitting in traffic problem which is worse with public transportation because it takes longer for a meandering bus to get you where you’re going.

        The energy used per passenger mile increases the better the public service and the more end-points you serve, because the vehicles are not travelling fully loaded. A great deal of the time they’re practically empty, but you still have to drive the route.

        Fixed point-to-point public transport systems simply don’t serve the public very well, and they create the additional problem that property values rise near the access points because it’s prime territory for business, which pushes the working middle class away from the reach of public transportation. But even publicly owned robotic taxis won’t solve this issue, because half of the time they’re simply riding empty to pick up customers from the other side of town.

        The most efficient solution seems to be that everyone who needs to go anywhere has some form of personal transportation device that doesn’t need to ride around empty, or take extra detours to serve multiple neighborhoods along the route – that just goes from A to B. You know, like a car or a scooter.

        1. City owned robo-taxis could use a sophisticated system that would minimize traveling empty, take example from services like Uber. But the required investments would be humungus.
          I don’t really understand why normal taxis do not use a similar service, it would vastly improve effectivity and customer comfort…

    1. You use cash? When was your 400 mi EV prommised? I only get 280 mi to 320 mi in my 1990 sport coupe and 2006 compact sedan. Satisfactory for my needs, I don’t know why I’d ever want or pay for more. It would literally be a disadvantage in every motoring situation I have encountered in my entire life.

    2. Why would anyone actually want a cashless society? Do you really want banks to have a total control of your finances. I mean they sort of already do, but right now you have the options of keeping the physical money in a safe location that is not a bank.

      1. I’ve been in New Zealand for the past 8 months and I’ve only ever used cash at a farmers market for cheap fruit’n’veg.

        I feel there must have been another use, but I’m racking my brain to come up with it. Cashless is better.

  4. The 760mph (1223kmh) is only for empty carts. With passengers the tube will go 160mph (257kmh). A modern train goes 150mph and a high speed train can go beyond 300kmh. Whats the benefit of a system like? Is it more efficient form of transport?

    I’ve followed the innovations in transport for a while. I’m impressed by the concepts but its hard to make it a reality. Just to put this project in perspective. At Technical University Delft (Netherlands) they’ve build a (prototype) ‘bus’ called superbus. And they claim to drive up to 160mph on (cheap) concrete roads.

    1. You misread TFA. The passenger carrying cars will go slower because they do not have the land to make gradual enough curves for higher speeds. That’s still the projected top speed for production system.

    1. For once I have to agree with this sentiment – this is standard engineering.

      Oh and the only innovation made by Mr. Musk in 2013 was a new name. The basic idea is from the 1800’s and it have been applied to overground, underground and underwater variants from everything with vacuum, partial vacuum and light gases filled tubes of misc. materials driving a vehicle propulsed with electrical or chemical means. Bah…

  5. it might not necessarily be meant as a simple replacement for rail systems, with the right approach systems akin to this could carry equipment and people into space, we need one hell of a mountain though and a few decades of practical experience running similar systems might help, if you can get the public to pay for parts of that experience all the better.

  6. We’re able to do something that is not subsidized by the state.

    Right. Let’s see you buy a corridor from NYC to DC or SF to LA. You can’t compete with airplanes if you need to buy, build, and maintain a 400-mile runway.

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