This Hyperloop Startup's Mysterious New Photos Don't Prove Much


Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is developing a passenger transport capsule capable of zooming around in a functional hyperloop’s vaccuum tubes that will be ready by early 2018, if you take the company’s word for it. HTT has teased the public with grand plans to develop a hyperloop and much-touted contracts with foreign nations, but so far most of its announcements have left us with more questions than answers. The company’s latest batch of promo photos and video are much the same, but they come with another grand announcement.

“Our dream of creating the next breakthrough in transportation takes a big step forward today,” Dirk Ahlborn, co-founder and CEO, said in the video published Tuesday.

HTT has yet to conduct a public test of its technology, while competitors race ahead to demonstrate their work. Hyperloop One has built a test track in the Nevada desert, and SpaceX hosted a pod design competition where teams showed off their designs to judges. HTT, which boasts that it has over 800 contributors on its crowd-sourced engineering team and over $30 million in venture capital in the bank, has yet to perform a similar test. Tuesday’s announcement could be a sign that the company’s resources are finally starting to bear fruit, or it could be nothing.

Alongside the announcement, the company released six images and one video of the capsule’s development.

Welding taking place at HTT.


The capsule will transport 164,000 passengers daily, and individually hold between 28 and 40 passengers in a tube with a diameter of nine feet and a length of 100 feet. Capsules will have a 40-second departure time.

A teaser image of in-progress work.


The hyperloop firm is working with Spanish aerospace company Carbures, which has over 1,000 employees, eight manufacturing plants, and five engineering centers.

Factory machinery used in development.


The system will use passive magnetic levitation and a low-pressure tube to move passengers at around 700 miles per hour.

Another shot of in-progress hyperloop development.


The company has previously announced big plans for future projects. In January, the company announced an exploratory agreement with the city of Brno in the Czech Republic to run a hyperloop to Bratislava, Slovakia.

Mysterious lights inside what looks like a hangar.


In the Brno announcement, Ahlborn made reference to “technical issues,” but with little public demonstration of progress, it’s unclear just how far along development has come.

Could this be the hyperloop pod of the future?


Watch the introduction video here: