Entrepreneur Elon Musk has said the first testing tunnel of his Hyperloop transport system is almost fully completed, and will be open to the public later this year.
Manufactured under his firm Boring Co., Hyperloop is a network of high-speed transit tunnels designed to maximise the efficiency of public transport at a lowered cost.
Musk said on Twitter last night that he expects the first tunnel, running under Hawthorne from the Spacex base in Los Angeles, California, to open on the night of 10 December and hold free rides for the public the following day.
The first tunnel is almost done— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 22, 2018
He added the shuttles themselves will have a top speed of 155 miles per hour inside the tunnel, surpassing the results of an earlier electric sled test which reached 125 miles per hour. The Hyperloop system had initially touted top speeds of 760 miles per hour.
The news comes after Boring Co. signed a deal with Chicago city authorities in the summer to build an express Hyperloop service from O'Hare airport to downtown Chicago.
The Hawthorne project also includes the building of a so-called Loop Lift inside the garage of a house. Boring Co. said the purpose of this is to demonstrate that a lift can be built inside small, existing buildings, with a vision to eventually having a lift in the basement of every office building for commuters.
The news comes after rival HyperloopTT said its first capsule train, holding up to 40 passengers and travelling at speeds of up to 760 miles per hour, will be operational next year.