News hardware This failed project of Elon Musk is finally transformed into a parking lot
Built six years ago near SpaceX headquarters in California, the first Hyperloop tunnel prototype was demolished to be replaced by a parking lot for company employees. Quite a symbol for this project, imagined by Elon Musk.
Today, billionaire Elon Musk is mainly talked about for his takeover of Twitter and the consequences of this new investment. We can also cite the success of SpaceX as well as the perpetual evolutions of Tesla’s cars.
But Elon Musk is a name that can also be associated with a whole host of other ideas that can go in all directions.like a futuristic armored vehicle that spends its time being carried over, a not very stable humanoid robot… and finally, thehyperloop.
In 2012, Elon Musk released a white paper detailing one of his craziest plans: a train capable of traveling faster than sound in a kind of tube connecting two cities. In theory, the means of transport would be able to reach the 1200 km/hwhich would make the train capable of connect San Francisco and Los Angeles in just 30 minutes, compared to 6 hours by car.
A prototype of Hyperloop that will have been useless
While many private initiatives have decided to take over open access plans, Elon Musk had quickly set out to build a prototype of Hyperloop on his own. The place chosen for this tube of almost 1.6 km long is located in Hawthorne, California, near the headquarters of SpaceX. After a project started in 2016, it was notably used in Hyperloop competitions in 2018 and 2019in which students could test their miniature pod prototypes.
In theory, this prototype was supposed to serve as a demonstration site for Musk’s vision. But in practice, for several years, the billionaire has largely revised his ambitions downward. He has also launched another project related to traffic and transport: the tunnels dug by The Boring Company, intended to limit traffic jams in cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Ironically, the latter, still under construction but still partly accessible, was used so much at CES in Las Vegas in January 2022 that it was itself bottled up.
Elon Musk said his tunnels would fix traffic congestion, but even his shitty Las Vegas tunnel is already getting backed up. Who could’ve predicted this?! 🙃 pic.twitter.com/iNiyPnGDeJ
—Paris Marx (@parismarx) January 6, 2022
Hyperloop: the destroyed SpaceX prototype, quite a symbol
Faced with this finding, it’s not really surprising to discover that SpaceX’s Hyperloop prototype was completely destroyed recently. Small additional affront: this project, initially dedicated to revolutionizing the transport of people, will soon be replaced by a parking lot intended to accommodate the cars of SpaceX employees. A return to fundamentals which demonstrates that such a sector cannot be transformed so easily. However, it can be assumed that the decision was made quickly since last April, The Boring Company’s Twitter account announced that “full-scale Hyperloop testing would begin later this year”.
Hyperloop testing at full-scale begins later this year.
— The Boring Company (@boringcompany) April 25, 2022
In early 2022, another Hyperloop project, Virgin Hyperloop, decided to throw in the towel. Officially, a handful of initiatives of this type still exist in Canada and the United States, but it has been several years since they were really talked about. At this stage, the Hyperloop looks rather like a hyper miss.