Correction, Thursday, 12:45 a.m. EST: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated, in the last paragraph, that the estimated cost of a hyperloop test track was $150 billion. That number should be $150 million and the story has since been corrected to reflect the correct figure.
Hyperloop Technologies, a Los Angeles-based startup and one of the companies racing to make Elon Musk’s ambitious science fiction-like transportation system a reality -- announced Tuesday that it has acquired 50 acres of land in North Las Vegas, Nevada, to build its first test track for the propulsion system. Testing at the Propulsion Open Air Test facility is expected to begin in early 2016, the company said, in a statement.
“Hyperloop Technologies will invest first in regions where we receive government advocacy to move fast,” Hyperloop Technologies CEO Rob Lloyd said, in the statement released Tuesday. “This decision represents another major milestone in our journey to bring Hyperloop to commercial reality.”
The cost of the Propulsion Open Air Test wasn't disclosed. The company said it has raised $37 million from investors so far and is in the process of obtaining another $80 million in bond financing.
The concept of Hyperloop -- a frictionless, supersonic “fifth mode” of transportation, wherein pressurized capsules travel through pneumatic tubes -- was first put forward by Musk in a 57-page white paper published in 2013. At the time, Musk, who currently serves as the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, urged companies and entrepreneurs interested in the concept to pursue the idea.
Since then, Hyperloop Technologies and its rival company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies -- both of which are not associated with Musk in any way -- have been vying to bring the dream to fruition.
“As a state, we are working diligently to attract and grow innovative companies and technologies that advance industries of all kinds,” Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said in the statement. “Through this exciting announcement by Hyperloop Tech and its selection of Apex Industrial Park for its Propulsion Open Air Test, Nevada is thrilled to be playing a role in the critical testing of its innovative advanced technologies.”
In August, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies also revealed that it is building a test track in Quay Valley, California, for an estimated cost of nearly $150 million. And, prior to that, Musk announced that he was planning to build a track of his own in Texas for companies and student teams to test out their transport pods.