Another huge project comes to an inglorious end

The Hyperloop trains come back in the box.  (Image: Hyperloop One)

The Hyperloop trains come back in the box. (Image: Hyperloop One)

Back in February of this year we asked ourselves: What actually happened to Elon Musk’s Hyperloop? The answer will follow shortly before Christmas.

Dream of super train is over; Hyperloop One will cease operations at the end of the year. This is reported by Bloomberg.

The company is selling its assets, closing offices and laying off its employees by the end of 2023. Then all intellectual property will pass to the main shareholder, major Dubai port operator DP World.

What could have happened?

Hyperloop One promised that we would soon be transported through tubes at the speed of an airplane. In retrospect it turns out that all promises were not fulfilled.

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In 2013, Elon Musk published a document about how trains could travel at high speed in almost airless tubes.

Concept drawing by Elon Musk for the Hyperloop trains. (Image: Hyperloop One)

At that time, Musk suggested that a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco – a distance of over 600 kilometers – could be done in just 30 minutes. Engineers and investors were immediately on board.

This resulted in the company that was supposed to take care of the construction of the trains and tunnels.

In 2017 a large investor got involved: Virgin. The company launched with multimillion-dollar funding and a bold vision of hyperloop systems around the globe.

In 2022, Virgin dropped Hyperloop One again. Despite various test routes and at least a single test with passengers, the company didn’t really make any progress. The start-up decided to focus on freight transport, which was reason enough for Virgin to withdraw from the project.

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Today, there are no large-scale hyperloops anywhere in the world. Musk’s test tunnel in California has disappeared and the billionaire himself is interested in other projects

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Perhaps the first flying car unveiled this year can bring personal transportation into the future.

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