The Hyperloop is getting closer and closer to fruition, with Hyperloop Technologies, one of the two companies looking to make the system a reality, having announced that it will begin building a test track for its propulsion system in Las Vegas next month to be finished by the end of Q1 2016.
This test track will beat out Elon Musk's own test track, which is set to be finished in Texas this summer.
The propulsion system uses very low air pressure to accelerate capsules that will eventually contain people at extremely high speeds. Elon Musk, CEO of companies like Tesla and SpaceX, first came up with the idea back in 2013, encouraging others to pursue the idea because he's already pretty busy running a bunch of companies.
Hyperloop Technologies doesn't use the exact same technology as outlined by Elon Musk. Instead of sucking capsules through tubes, Hyperloop Technologies' tech occasionally pushes the capsule along. Stater coils are built into the track with magnets to boost it though the tube. The low pressure inside the tube means that there is little friction that can slow down the capsule. Hyperloop Technologies obviously has to first make sure that this technology works, which is precisely the test track's purpose.
The fact that Hyperloop Technologies is on its way toward completing its first test track is a pretty significant step forward for the technology. The Las Vegas test track will be around half a mile long, along with a few hundred yards of stater coils to propel the system.
Hyperloop Technologies has raised more than $37 million through its two rounds of financing. It's not yet known if the Nevada government subsidized the deal for the land, however, Las Vegas officials have been trying to lure large tech firms to the area for a while now.