Nevada has been chosen as the test location for the Hyperloop, a high speed transportation system conceptualized by Tesla Motors chief CEO Elon Musk which could potentially reach a top speed of 760 miles per hour.
The Hyperloop system involves building a full-length tube between destinations within which a transport pod carrying passengers or cargo is levitated by magnets and accelerated through a controlled environment. The system is intended to be carbon-free and powered by renewable energy. The project plans to take passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes.
Hyperloop Technologies is one of several companies looking to bring the Hyperloop into reality. The company announced this week it had chosen the Apex Industrial Park in the city of North Las Vegas, Nevada, as the location for its first initial test. Called the Propulsion Open Air Test, it will send an electric motor along a 1 kilometer track at a speed of 540 kilometers per hour (335 miles per hour).
"This decision represents another major milestone in our journey to bring Hyperloop to commercial reality," said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop Technologies, in a press release.
Onsite testing will begin in January, according to the statement on the company's website. Hyperloop Technologies' team will also examine advancements in propulsion, tube design and fabrication, levitation systems, pod designs and thermodynamics and systems engineering.
"Hyperloop Tech is a cutting-edge company focused on changing the way the world views transportation, and we could not be more excited about the role the state of Nevada is going to play in this first phase of testing," said Steve Hill, director of the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development, in a press release.
The company is currently in the process of choosing a site for the first test of a full-sized, fully-working Hyperloop.
"This will be over 2 miles of tube with a controlled environment and inside that tube we will levitate a pod and accelerate it to over 700mph," said Lloyd. "We aim to achieve this in (the fourth quarter of) 2016."
But Neveda is not the only location for a Hyperloop test track. Elon Musk's space exploration company SpaceX is building a one-mile track at its headquarters in California, while Hyperloop Transportation Technologies – another company working on the Hyperloop transport concept - revealed plans in August for a five mile test track in Los Angeles costing between $100 and $150 million.