The company developing the revolutionary high-speed Hyperloop transportation system has secured a site on which to build a facility to test its propulsion system, with the first components due to arrive in January 2016.
Hyperloop Technologies said it has signed a contract to locate its Propulsion Open Air Test on a 50-acre site in the Mountain View industrial park in the city of north Las Vegas and hopes to start testing in early 2016.
The facility is a major milestone towards building a full-blown, three-kilometre test track that would allow the team to further progress the concept, which envisions sending capsules with passengers through vacuum-filled tubes at speeds of up to 1,220km/h.
“This decision represents another major milestone in our journey to bring Hyperloop to commercial reality,” said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop Technologies.
“Hyperloop Technologies will invest first in regions where we receive government advocacy to move fast.”
The Propulsion Open Air Test will feature a test track approximately one kilometre for experiments, with a custom-designed linear electric motor capable of propelling a test capsule at speeds of around 540km/h.
The location of the three kilometre-long track has not yet been selected, but Hyperloop Technologies hopes to have the site up and running by early 2017.
According to the firm, development of the system, originally envisioned by SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk, pushes innovation in many fields including propulsion, tube design and fabrication, levitation and thermodynamics.
The company aims to have the system ready for commercial operation by 2020.