On Tuesday, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) announced it was building a Passenger Hyperloop Capsule. The pod would be the first production model of its kind and is set for completion in early 2018.
The latest breakthrough in transportation technology will revolutionize the way we move from place to place if it ever becomes a reality. Several startups are working on it, including Elon Musk’s own SpaceX.
Musk was the one to first present a Hyperloop concept a couple of years ago. Since then, various companies around the world have been developing different versions.
How fast is HTT’s capsule?
The Passenger Hyperloop Capsule will have a diameter of 2.7 meters or 9 feet. It will be 30 meters long, nearly 100 feet. The pod will support between 28 and 40 passengers but unmanned it will weigh around 20 tons.
However, the most revealing detail of them all was the reported traveling speed of the machine: it will match Hyperloop standards at 760 mph or 1223 km/h.
HTT has released a small batch of cryptic images hinting at the construction of a Hyperloop track and capsule in Toulouse, France at the research and development facilities of the company.
The Spanish firm Carbures S.A. is working together with HTT to develop the pod with its extensive background knowledge on aeronautics design. The two partners have unveiled a spec sheet along with the mysterious photos of their work in progress.
HTT’s system reportedly relies on passive magnetic elevation to propel these passenger capsules at ludicrous speeds through a nearly airtight-sealed tube toward a remote destination. Regular means of travel would take hours in comparison to the potential minutes it could take a Hyperloop pod.
Who else is working on the Hyperloop?
While HTT claims their design will be ready by early 2018, they face some serious competition from the world’s top universities and associations who are also working on the technology.
A couple of months ago, SpaceX held their first capsule contest in a real-life Hyperloop track built in the skirts of their headquarters’ campus. Contenders from the U.S., the Netherlands, Japan, and more were present at the event.
Hyperloop One, a rivaling startup with testing operations based in Nevada, is also on track to develop a proprietary system of superfast tubes and pods. A couple dozen expats from Hyperloop One left the company and went on to form their own, called Arrivo.
HTT says it has working relations with France, the United Arab Emirates, Slovakia, Indonesia, and the Czech Republic to build a system that covers routes within these countries. It remains to be seen if that is the case.