Earlier this week, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced that they had just broken ground on their test track in Quay Valley, California. Now, we’ve heard that SpaceX and Aecom will be partnering to build their test track just 200 miles away in Hawthorne, California.
Though we knew this build was coming, the news about the partnership with Aecom came yesterday. Though not a particular surprising decision, it is an exciting one. Aecom is a major construction and design company with international clientele in the transportation industry. They’re certainly a good pick for the SpaceX partnership.
The hyperlook track that SpaceX is building is not meant to be for the public, Elon Musk says that his goal is only to contribute to other hyperloop researcher’s findings. “Neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk is affiliated with any Hyperloop companies. While we are not developing a commercial Hyperloop ourselves, we are interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype.” says Musk on his Hyperloop site. He has said before that he doesn’t have the time to make Hyperloop one of his commercial interests, which is why we see test tracks popping up all over the United States. The rights have been released, so we’re just waiting for someone to perfect the technology and then implement it.
The hyperloop will be approximately a mile long and 6-feet in diameter. This is a full size model, but when it is implemented, it will certainly be used for long distance travel.
The track SpaceX builds will be used for the Hyperloop competition coming up this summer. Musk and SpaceX have invited designers to submit their pod concepts to be tested at the track in the competition this summer. This weekend (January 29-30) there will be a meeting with all designers involved in the competition. The main purpose of the designer’s weekend is to give designers an opportunity to apply for corporate sponsorship, but SpaceX says that they also hope to make it possible for designers to share and discuss their ideas with other designers.
The announcement of Aecom’s involvement is big news because it means that the test track is likely be done in time for the competition. Working with such a large construction company shows Elon Musk’s commitment to the concept of the Hyperloop, even though he is not at all directly involved.