Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, announced on Thursday that he is in the process of developing and building a test loop over five miles long for his Hyperloop Highs-speed transit plan – an idea to transport people in high speed pods that travel at 800 miles per hour.
The transport system that Musk has envisioned would travel at almost Mach 1 speeds, making it capable of traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco (approx. 385 miles) in slightly less than half an hour.
John Hansman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT told Technology Review:
“It’s far-fetched … It would be enormously expensive. And I think there are a huge number of technical challenges with the vehicle. My questions aren’t could you do it, but could you do it in a way that makes sense from an energy efficiency standpoint and makes sense from an economic standpoint.”
In a tweet Elon Musk said that the test track, likely to be built in Texas, will be available for companies and students to develop and test the necessary technology.
“Will be building a Hyperloop test track for companies and student teams to test out their pods. Most likely in Texas,” Tweeted Musk on Thursday.
Elon Musk talked about his ideas at the Texas Transportation Forum. He said that he is “also thinking of having an annual student Hyperloop pod racer competition, like Formula SAE”.
Musk also said that he will be making a $10 million donation to research into the field of artificial intelligence.