Hyperloop Transportation Technologies says it has started construction on a full-size passenger pod for delivery to a client.
The Culver City, California, company is in a race to see who can build the first working commercial hyperloop system.HTT says it will deliver its first passenger capsule to a municipal customer in 2018.
HTT has engaged in negotiations with many potential clients and has conducted feasibility studies to determine where hyperloop systems might have the most beneficial impact.
The passenger capsule currently under construction will undergo final testing and optimization at HTT's R&D facility in Toulouse, France, before it is delivered to the as-yet-unknown customer.The module is being built for HTT by Carbures S.A., which builds parts and systems for industries including aeronautics, space, and defense.
Invented by entrepreneurial engineer Elon Musk, hyperloops are capsules that transport people or cargo at very high speed through tunnels at near vacuum pressure.
HTT's 20-ton capsule has a diameter of 9 feet and extends 100 feet long.The company says it can be outfitted to carry between 28 and 40 passengers.The pod will travel at speeds of up to 760 miles per hour.
Abu Dhabi, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic are working with HTT on future Hyperloop installations.
HTT's chief competitor, Hyperloop One, is building a cargo transportation link between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
IMAGE: HYPERLOOP TRANSPORTATION TECHNOLOGIES