Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Cadiz, Spain (4E) – The first Hyperloop trains (or is it, pods?) in the United States should become operational by 2022, if the optimistic expectations of California-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) is to be believed.
This optimism seems to have sprung from HTT the other day unveiling its first full-size passenger capsule in Cadiz, Spain. HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn said his company to have a full hyperloop system up and running in three years. “In three years, you and me, we can take a hyperloop,” he said.
The German-born Ahlborn estimates that worldwide adoption of hyperloop transport in places such as Bavaria, Germany and Guizhou, China might come in “maybe five to 10” years once a legal framework is in place.
“It’s definitely much sooner than anybody would expect,” said Ahlborn.
He revealed that HTT’s passenger capsule measures 105 feet long and weighs five tons. The interio’s still being designed. The capsule will fit between 28 and 40 passengers.
From Cadiz, the capsule will be transported to HTT’s research and development center in Toulouse, France to finish assembly. It will then be tested at the facility’s full-size track.
“The importance of what we achieved is that it’s a real full-scale capsule,” said HTT chairman and co-founder Bibop Gresta. “This is the first time that we’ve shown what a hyperloop would look like.”
Hyperloop transport was first envisioned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2013. The revolutionary technology uses magnets to levitate and propel pods through large vacuum tubes at speeds of more 1,000 km/h, almost ten times the average train speed. This means shortening travel time from Los Angeles to San Francisco (a distance of 615 km via I-5N) to just 30 minutes.
HTT is one of several companies hoping to realize Musk’s vision. Ahlborn founded HTT in 2014 to take-up Musk’s challenge to build a Hyperloop.
In a 78-page report he released in 2014, Ahlborn went over all of the needs for the Hyperloop to become a reality. At the time, Ahlborn claims his Hyperloop will cost anywhere between $7 and $19 billion to develop.
Ahlborn doesn’t plan for Hyperloop to be for the high-class only. Economy tickets should be available for $20 to $30.
Article – All Rights Reserved.
Provided by FeedSyndicate