Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX, appears to be one step closer to realizing his dream of building a ‘hyperloop’ transportation system that will run from Washington DC to New York City.
Authorities in Washington DC issued a preliminary permit to The Boring Company, Musk’s tunnel construction firm, allowing the company to begin digging within a designated area in the city, according to the Washington Post.
The permit allows for work to begin at a vacant lot at 53 New York Avenue NE in the US capital city, the paper reported.
If things go well, the site could lay claim to be the first station in a hyperloop network that will connect Washington DC and New York City.
Hyperloop One, Musk’s futuristic transportation system, completed its third-phase testing last December, attaining maximum speed of 387 kilometers per hour.
The theoretical top speed of hyperloop pods, which will carry passengers or cargo through nearly airless tubes, is much as 1,300 kilometers per hour, according to some experts.
The distance between Washington DC and New York is around 363 kilometers. With a hyperloop, a journey between the two locations could take as little as 29 minutes.
In October last year, Hyperloop One and UK tycoon Richard Branson’s Virgin Group announced a strategic partnership to form Virgin Hyperloop One.
Recently, Virgin Hyperloop One struck an agreement with the Indian state of Maharashtra to develop a hyperloop route connecting the cities of Mumbai and Pune, media reports have said.
The loop would also link the new Mumbai international airport, which is currently under construction.
With the hyperloop, a journey between Mumbai and Pune will take just 25 minutes, compared to the more than three hours that it takes to travel by train and about two-and-a-half hours by car.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb 21
Translation by Jonathan Chong with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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