The last century has seen cars that spawned the birth of industrial society, trains that sprawled across the country and connected the coasts, and planes that could traverse hemispheres in a matter of hours. This rapid development and deep-seated desire to be faster and safer has engendered a transportation arms race, and we're the main beneficiaries. The Hyperloop combines the best of both worlds and offers jet-like speeds for the cost of a bus-fare. It looks like 2017 will see some major developments for the storied technology.
Air travelers in Denver are treated to a solar-powered, covered parking lot, mini-golf, a nearby wildlife refuge and two on-campus commuter rail lines. In Dallas-Fort Worth, local authorities recently approved plans for a six-story, extended-stay hotel on an existing 32-acre, mixed-use commercial space that already has offices, restaurants and retail shops. In Pittsburgh, private businesses have invested several hundred million dollars for manufacturing, industrial, office and warehouse space on airport property – and aggressive efforts to bring more direct flights to Pittsburgh International Airport are attracting new types of business to this former steel town.
Hyperloop One conducts the first public test of a prototype propulsion system which could eventually transport people through tubes at the speed of sound. Held in Nevada on Wednesday, the custom-built sled accelerates to 116mph in 1.1 seconds. The idea for Hyperloop was first proposed by tech billionaire Elon Musk, but dropped in 2013.
One of the ways that Hyperloop One is working out which routes it wants to build is through its "Global Challenge" program. It is, essentially, an X-Factor style competition in which candidate cities and states can audition for the prize of getting to buy their own high-speed travel systems. Now, the company has announced which regions are in the running to be the first to get their own Hyperloop route. There are ten winners across five countries, and each proposal was judged by a panel of experts in infrastructure, transport and technology. Now, each one will be examined in extreme detail as Hyperloop One works out the best place to break ground on its first full-bodied line.