Goodbye Hyperloop One, the ultra-fast transport project is ending

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Official confirmation has arrived the closure of Hyperloop One, the main company behind Elon Musk’s original idea of ​​creating a supersonic train that could revolutionize the ground transportation system. The promise was to move passengers or cargo within a network of gigantic low-pressure tubes to travel faster than airliners while staying just a few meters above the ground. However, huge costs and a gradual slowdown in testing and research led to the closure of the shutter.

There were many ideas similar to pneumatic mail, albeit in an extra large version: Instead of moving capsules containing documents, Hyperloop One aimed to create a kind of railway 2.0 with carriages moving comfortably at very high speeds in a tube with almost no friction. On paper, the hypothesis was to beat the speed of sound and warranty very fast travel even over long distances, such as Milan-Rome in 30 minutes, or connecting distant countries such as the US and China more efficiently than intercontinental flights. The idea of ​​supersonic trains traveling in a near-vacuum, first envisioned in the early 20th century by the pioneer of modern rocketry, Robert Goddard, was back in vogue in 2013 thanks to a paper published by Elon Musk, who created a route from Los Angeles to San Francisco. One of the first experiments took place in 2016 thanks to Virgin’s interest in a test in the Nevada desert, which indicates the rapid development of the project, also thanks to several parallel projects (as we told you here). It wasn’t like that.

Some of Hyperloop One’s executives were in trouble with the law due to allegations of harassment and fraud, financial problems arose to support the high costs of research and development, and the project quickly went bankrupt. If already in 2022, the test tunnel built by Elon Musk in California was turned into a parking lot, today Bloomberg tells how around 200 employees have been laid off, the Los Angeles offices are abandoned and the property will be gradually sold off. The remaining intellectual property of the Hyperloop will end up in the hands of Dubai-based DP World, and some parallel projects will continue, but at this point nothing has gone beyond prototypes and preliminary feasibility studies.

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