Austin has a serious shot of being a central stop on the world’s first Hyperloop, according to a Thursday report on KUT-FM’s website. A Texas route is among the ten finalists in a competition to be the first spot to receive one of the still mostly theoretical commuter systems, which would send passenger pods from city to city through a low-pressure tube at speeds up to 700 miles per hour, according to the story.
The technology presently lags behind both the excitement among transportation nerds and the concept, a vision of SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk. According to the KUT story, only one short test track has been built so far.
The Texas route emerged as a finalist from more than 2,600 teams that submitted proposals to the Hyperloop One Global Challenge, an international competition to choose the best plan and place for a loop, KUT reports; the other finalists are proposals for Colorado, Florida and the Great Lakes region in the United States, as well as ones from Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and India.
The Texas proposal, according to the KUT story, would run from Dallas-Fort Worth to Austin, San Antonio, and Laredo; a spur would also go to Houston. It puts estimated travel times of 19 minutes between Dallas and Austin, nine minutes from Austin to San Antonio, and 46 minutes from Dallas to Houston.
The website relayed Hyperloop One’s statement that it would now examine details of each proposal, but a date on which a winner will be announced was not included.