Austin, a city known for its traffic woes, is no stranger to transportation ideas that range from optimistic to bizarre. Remember, for instance, the proposals to build a subway system and calls for examining a gondola?
A Hyperloop system may sound just as odd, but it’s one idea that could have legs. Hyperloop One, a Los Angeles-based company that is developing a custom transportation system that uses a series of tubes and pods to move at high speeds, revealed that Austin is among the cities being considered for a potential project.
More specifically, Hyperloop is examining the idea of a 640-mile Texas triangle route that’s not really a triangle – it would have stops in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Laredo. According to Hyperloop, its pods could transport people and goods between Austin and Dallas in just under 20 minutes and between Austin and San Antonio in under 10 minutes.
The Texas triangle route is one of 11 that made the cut with Hyperloop One, after the company asked entities from governments and universities to companies and individuals to propose Hyperloop routes. Texas’s proposals involves officials from the Texas Department of Transportation, according to the Austin Business Journal.
Hyperloop One will eventually select three winners to work with the company on project development and financing.
While it’s not certain that the Hyperloop will come to Texas, it is certain that the technology is moving forward. The company announced that is has installed a 1,650-foot test site outside of Las Vegas, where it plan to run its first public trial this year. According to Hyperloop One, it’s on track to move cargo by 2020 and passengers by 2021.
(Renderings used in this post are concepts from Hyperloop Texas)