Elon Musk’s vision for the future of transportation has taken another step toward reality, as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) announced a serious new contract to work with Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum (OLV) and engineering firm Aecom in the construction of a passenger-ready Hyperloop.
Construction for the capsule-in-a-tube transportation system will break ground in 2016, with the promise of travel at speeds of over 600 mph.
OLV and Aecom will receive stock in HTT as part of the deal, joining engineers from Boeing and SpaceX, who are already at work on the project.
The concept of the design involves moving a passenger capsule through a nearly evacuated tube and was detailed by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk in a 2013 white paper. A five mile loop prototype will be built in Quay Valley, situated between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The new contract with OLV and Aecom means a great deal to HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn who said, “It’s a validation of the fact that our model works. It’s the next step.” Ahlborn went on to say there were several potential investors in the project.
OLV specializes in vacuum technologies and has previously worked on the large hadron collider at CERN.
Head of business development at OLV, Carl Brockmeyer, said the project would not be most challenging they had done, “We are used to much higher and harsher applications.” Brockmeyer and his team have so far been running simulations to determine the energy and cost requirements to bring the Hyperloop tube to almost zero pressure.
Construction firm Aecom was similarly optimistic, and they have the pedigree to back it up, having already worked on the planned 73-mile addition to London’s Underground known as “Crossrail.” VP of new ventures at Aecom, Andrew Liu, said that all the required technology to pursue the project exists.
Elon Musk is often accused of being more of a salesman than anything else, but with so many of his visions becoming reality, such a position looks less and less accurate by the day.