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Group wants to bring LA-SF 'Hyperloop' to reality

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 9:00am
The Associated Press

A group of engineers, designers and entrepreneurs has a game plan to turn into a reality one man's vision of traveling between Los Angeles and San Francisco in half an hour.

The newly minted Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. announced Thursday that it has secured help from several high-tech firms and UCLA's architecture school. It also published a set of "milestones" it hopes to hit, with the goal of creating a prototype in a little more than a year.

The Hyperloop concept was unveiled to much fanfare in August. Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk challenged the public to take his idea — which involves shooting capsules full of people through elevated tubes at the speed of sound — and get it built.

That would take years, if it ever happens.

Leaders for the new company hope to have cost estimates by the end of March and say that while a Hyperloop would take billions of dollars to build, they have been in contact with venture capital firms. They also hope for support from enthusiasts in the public.

Indeed, the basis for the venture is "crowd sourcing," or taking input from qualified members of the public to create the best plan.

Donations announced Thursday include a sophisticated modeling program by computer simulation software company ANSYS Inc. and the time of graduate students from UCLA, who will explore questions including what the traveler's experience might be like.

Musk has said he's too busy with other businesses — luxury electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. and the rocket-building company SpaceX — to participate.

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