Nov 052013


Well, Elon Musk can relax now.

Having previously announced his intention to at least build a demonstrator of his Hyperloop transporter for high-speed, high-capacity inter-city transport, he now appears relieved to leave that task to HTT (Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc). HTT is an engineering startup company operating under the wing of California-based JumpStartFund. It has developed basic organization and operational plans, as well as having established key partnerships to help navigate a path to a working Hyperloop.

Musk’s Hyperloop has gained a vast amount of media attention over the past year or so. His proposal was for a dedicated low-pressure tube train to connect the Los Angeles and San Francisco city centers while reaching top speeds of about 800 mph (1,300 km/h). With a yearly passenger capacity of 15 million passengers, and half-hour transport between the most distant terminals, the Hyperloop made quite a splash as an alternative to open, above-ground high-speed trains.

HTT, a company organized by co-founders Dr. Marco Villa (former director of mission operations for SpaceX) and Dr. Patricia Galloway (past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers), is operating with very thin financial foundations. It is depending on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to supply the initial needs of the company, which include obtaining needed goods and services by making strategic partnerships with a range of companies. HTT is selecting most of its workforce from a pool of scientists and engineers who are willing to commit time in exchange for equity in the company.

Of particular importance are HTT’s deals with ANSYS for computer simulation resources, its partnership with material science development company GloCal Network Corp, and the UCLA Architecture and Urban Design department, whose role is to consider the social interface for the Hyperloop project.

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