Hyperloop, the futuristic transportation system first envisioned by Elon Musk, is included in a landmark trillion-dollar infrastructure bill that passed through the US Senate on Tuesday.
The two companies are currently leading the development of a commercial Hyperloop system – Virgin Hyperloop and Hyperloop TT – both with hopes of revolutionizing the way people travel.
The original Hyperloop concept, first laid out by Tesla and SpaceX bosses in a 2012 whitepaper, involves shooting pods filled with people through vacuum tubes at speeds in excess of 1,000 kilometers per hour.
The promises made by this “fifth mode of transportation”, as Mr. Musk calls it, have so far failed to be realized in a commercial operation – a fact in a manifesto published last year by renowned Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen titled Was “It’s time to build”.
In it, he described the “failure of action, and in particular our widespread inability to manufacture”, and called for greater government investment in new industries.
“You see it in transportation,” he wrote. “Where are the supersonic planes? Where are the millions of delivery drones? Where are the high-speed trains, the flying monorail, the hyperloop and yes, the flying cars?”
The inclusion in the infrastructure bill was welcomed by both major Hyperloop companies, which hope that the development of futuristic transport systems will replace costly road and rail infrastructure.
“Hyperloop’s inclusion in the bill is a historic moment for the industry as it consolidates the technology into federal law,” said Andres de Leon, CEO of Hyperloop TT.
“The passage of this law is a step in the right direction, but the work to advance US infrastructure systems doesn’t stop there… While a substantial portion of the increased investment will be spent on repair and maintenance of existing infrastructure systems, The long-term future of the country depends on the development of sustainable solutions that form the backbone of the transportation infrastructure.
The bill would allow companies to compete for federal funding for US-based Hyperloop projects, while codifying the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council at the US Department of Transportation to support safer and faster deployment of transportation will also. System.
After passing through the Senate, the bill will next be considered by the House of Representatives, which returns from its recess on August 23.
“The inclusion of Hyperloop shows that we are at the beginning of a new era that will change the way we think about mobility in this country,” said Josh Gigel, CEO and co-founder of Virgin Hyperloop.
“I expect the House of Representatives to pass this law expeditiously so that these additional avenues for investment in the successful deployment of Hyperloop in the US can become law.”