Elon Musk’s dream of putting people into a tube and propelling them at speeds up to 800 mph is one major step closer to reality.
California-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has announced today that its “core team working on the full scale Hyperloop has now surpassed 400 professionals,” with several other companies, including Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum, engineering design firm AECOM, and architectural firm Hodgetts & Fung, providing technological and infrastructure support on the project.
As Wired reports, help from the companies already joins “the army of engineers from the likes of Boeing and SpaceX already lending their time to the effort.”
The 400-plus-person team plans to have a “full-scale, passenger-ready Hyperloop in 2016” that will run five miles through Quay Valley, Calif.
JumpStartFund, a startup that uses crowdsourcing to raise funding, started HTT. The startup brings together engineers from places like NASA, SpaceX, Boeing and leading universities willing to exchange their time and expertise for stock options.
It’s a solid sign that these companies are getting serious about building out Musk’s Hyperloop idea, which he wrote a white paper on in 2013. Since, Musk has spearheaded several activities encouraging the development of the Hyperloop, including constructing a test track in Texas and holding a pod design contest.
“I don’t think the construction hurdles are significant compared to other technologies that are already out there,” Carl Brockmeyer, Oerlikon’s head of business development, told Wired. “From a technical point of view, it’s not a challenge. We are used to much higher and harsher applications.”
He added: “I thought, ‘Traveling in a vacuum tube? This is something we should be involved in.'”