The Hyperloop was one of Elon Musk’s crazy projects. Presented in 2012, it organizes in the following months a competition for start-ups to develop in this field. Passionate about the idea of a subsonic train (faster than sound), Elon Musk will finance part of the development of the project with his company SpaceX.
But sometimes those dreams are too big, and even the richest man on the planet can’t buy everything. After seven years of more or less complicated development, a Hyperloop test site is being demolished. In Hawthorne, California, very close to the SpaceX offices, employees had placed a test “tube” for the Hyperloop.
First failure for The Boring Company
The project never managed to break the “technological lock” and according to Bloomberg, the site will be transformed into a parking lot for employees in the coming months. The tunnel has been out of service since the beginning of the year. Also according to information from the Bloomberg media, it is in this area that the tests of the technology would have taken place.
The idea of the Hyperloop is to create huge “tunnels” or “tubes” emptied of all air. A train would then move thanks to the laws of magnetism at incredible speeds. In the absence of friction with the air, this technology could make it possible to connect cities in a few minutes.
The project still has followers
Several projects are under construction, notably in Canada and the United States. With a maximum speed of around 1200 km/h (this varies depending on the project), this train of the future would be able to connect Barcelona to Paris in less than an hour.
Very confident about the success of his project, Elon Musk assured in 2018 that the Hyperloop would be able to replace the huge Los Angeles ring road. The boss of The Boring Company explains that the journey will take a few minutes and will only cost a dollar.
Last April, the company announced that “full-scale” testing would begin in 2022. Today a network of tunnels is present under Las Vegas. For the moment it can be used by Tesla cars while waiting for the first Hyperloop tests to take place.
Hyperloop: a project that will never succeed?
The destruction of the Hawthorne site is not the only negative signal sent to this fledgling industry. Another major project, Virgin Hyperloop decided to throw in the towel at the start of the year. More exactly the company announced that it could not make travel passengers and to go to concentrate on the development of a technology of freight.
Another sign of the failure of the Hyperloop project as a whole. The city of Dubai was to showcase a working Hyperloop tunnel at its World Expo. The installation would have been kept afterwards to allow locals to cross the city in a few minutes.
Despite the very numerous investments in the small oil emirate, the project never got off the ground, and the universal exhibition, postponed to 2021, was done without it.