Elon Musk's Hyperloop idea: 'real, happening' says CTO of 1 of 3 companies vying to build it


Concept drawings for Elon Musk’s 800-mph Hyperloop

Concept drawings for Elon Musk’s 800-mph Hyperloop

Enlarge Photo

Elon Musk may have moved on from the "Hyperloop" high-speed transport system he sketched a couple of years ago, but multiple companies have pledged to continue its development.

One of them is Hyperloop Technologies Inc., which is trying to recruit engineers from the Detroit car industry to make the Hyperloop a reality.

"This is real. This is happening," said Brogan BamBrogan, the CTO and co-founder of Hyperloop Technologies, during a talk at the 2016 SAE World Congress.

DON'T MISS: Test Tracks For Elon Musk's Hyperloop: Now There Are Three!

BamBrogan said Hyperloop Technologies plans to go on a hiring spree, and believes Detroit auto-industry veterans will make good recruits, according to Automotive News.

The company currently has about 140 engineers, he said, but plans to hire 60 to 80 more this year, and and 120 to 200 next year.

BamBrogan is a Detroit native who worked as a contract engineer for Chrysler before becoming one of the first 25 engineers at Musk's SpaceX company.

Concept drawings for Elon Musk’s 800-mph Hyperloop

Concept drawings for Elon Musk’s 800-mph Hyperloop

Enlarge Photo

Musk originally envisioned a Hyperloop running from Los Angeles to San Francisco, but Hyperloop Technologies will start with a 2-mile test track in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

The company previously said it would build a track solely for testing ways of propelling capsules, and then build another track to test the complete system.

Critics have questioned the practicality of a full-scale Hyperloop, which uses tubes to transport both people and cargo at around 700 mph.

ALSO SEE: Elon Musk's Hyperloop: 30 Minutes In Windowless 800-MPH Pod? (Aug 2013)

BamBrogan said the major issue right now is cost, estimating that a two-way Hyperloop track will cost $15 million per kilometer, not including money that would be required to purchase land and build stations.

Consequently, cost reduction will be a priority, he said.

If Hyperloop Technologies can't solve that problem, perhaps one of its competitors will.

Concept drawings for Elon Musk’s 800-mph Hyperloop

Concept drawings for Elon Musk’s 800-mph Hyperloop

Enlarge Photo

There are presently two other companies planning to build full-scale Hyperloop systems as well.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) plans to break ground on a 5-mile test track in California's Quay Valley this year.

That track will be used to transport residents of an area development, and HTT expects it to cost $100 to $170 million.

MORE: Test Track For Elon Musk's Hyperloop To Start Construction This Year

HTT intends to build a full-scale Hyperloop, but likely somewhere outside the U.S. where there is less competing transportation infrastructure.

Finally, global infrastructure firm AECOM reportedly wants to build a 1-mile test track adjacent to the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

This shorter track will test half-scale prototype capsules, which won't carry people.

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