The Hyperloop, a concept Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk introduced two years ago, is becoming a reality in California, reports CNBC.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has signed an agreement with a central California developer to build a five mile Hyperloop test facility along Interstate 5.
“This is a phased process. We’ve done feasibility studies and now we will be able test all aspects of the Hyperloop,” said Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of the JumpStartFund, which helped create Hyperloop Transportation Technologies last year.
Space Exploration Technologies founder Musk came up with the idea for the Hyperloop, which is best described as a way of transporting people at high speeds in capsules that will be pushed through tubes stretching thousands of miles.
Ahlborn said it is time to “take the Hyperloop from concept and design and build the first one.”
The deal signed with Quay Valley developers in central California specifies construction on the project to start next year and be finished by 2019. Ahlborn estimates the five mile Hyperloop line will cost roughly $100 million to build.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies will pay for the initial stretch from an IPO to generate at least $100 million with plans to come to the market later this year.
“We’ve been contacting potential suppliers and we think this first commercial application of the Hyperloop will be successful when it is built,” he said.
When he announced the idea two years ago, South Africa-born Musk said he would not fund or participate in building the Hyperloop, though it seems the entrepreneur has changed his mind. He wrote on Twitter in January, “Will be building a Hyperloop test track for companies and student teams to test out their pods. Most likely in Texas.”
Musk told the Texas Tribune he expects the Texas Hyperloop test track to be five miles long.
Backer released a document in December that outlined the feasibility of a tube that can hurl travelers to their destinations inside of pod hundreds of miles an hour. They envision the first large scale Hyperloop stretching from San Francisco to Los Angeles, a project they claim is cheaper and more efficient than building a high-speed train. Hyperloop commuters would make the 400-mile journey between the two cities less than an hour.