You can’t take the hype out of the Hyperloop. In 2013, billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk kicked off a 21st-century Space Race when he put forth an open-source vision for a transit system that could propel people and cargo at near supersonic speeds. Since then, Silicon Valley companies have been scrambling to be the first to unveil a viable prototype.
One start-up is breaking away from the pack. A Los Angeles–based company called Hyperloop One successfully shot a 1,500-pound aluminum sled down a 1,000-foot-long track in the Nevada desert this May, reaching 116 miles per hour in 1.1 seconds. (“I had tears mixed with sand,” the company’s cofounder, Shervin Pishevar, wrote in a blog post the next day.)