Elon Musk says his futuristic Hyperloop plans just got verbal government approval in the US

Rebecca Smith
Musk wants to tackle gridlock in LA
Musk wants to tackle gridlock in LA (Source: Getty)

Tesla boss Elon Musk has announced that his supersonic transport system Hyperloop has just got "verbal" government approval in the US.

Hyperloop, which envisages passengers propelled in pods through low pressure tubes at speeds ultimately topping 700mph, is just at the test stage, but the concept has been developing fast.

Read more: Hyperloop's plans to connect Europe: The nine shortlisted routes revealed

Last week, the Hyperloop One firm announced it completed the first full-scale test of its hyperloop tech in a vacuum environment in May.

The test lasted 5.3 seconds and the vehicle hit 70 miles per hour during the test in the Nevada desert. The firm has eyes on upping the speed to 250mph, before ultimately aiming for 750mph.

And today, Musk said his tunnelling company, the Boring Company, had been given verbal government approval to build a Hyperloop on America's West Coast, an underground tunnel that would transport passengers between New York and Washington DC in just 29 minutes. It would run via Philadelphia and Baltimore, according to Musk.

The ambitious Hyperloop plans aren't just being contemplated for the US either. Last month, Hyperloop One unveiled its shortlist of European routes being considered for its transport shake-up, after encouraging people to pitch in routes that would be deemed technically doable, as well as economically sound.

It wants to establish a network of routes, spanning more than 3,100 miles and connecting more than 75m people in 44 cities.

Among the shortlisted routes are three in the UK; one connecting the Northern cities, another to bridge the North and the South, and a third to connect Scotland with Wales. Also in the running, is a 90km trip from Estonia to Finland, a 629km Spain to Morocco route and one traversing the entirety of Germany.

The nine European routes being considered

  1. Corsica-Sardinia - 451 km
  2. Estonia-Finland - 90 km
  3. Germany - 1,991 km
  4. Poland - 415 km
  5. Spain-Morocco - 629 km
  6. The Netherlands - 428 km
  7. UK-North-South Connector - 666 km
  8. UK-Northern Arc - 545 km
  9. UK-Scotland-Wales - 1,060 km

Read more: The arrival of Hyperloop One just drew a big step closer

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