- Elon Musk’s SpaceX has selected global construction giant AECOM to build a Hyperloop test track this year next to its headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, according to The Verge.
- SpaceX said AECOM’s experience in the infrastructure sector should add experience and a practical component to the Hyperloop project. An AECOM spokesperson said the nearly one-mile, vacuum-sealed track will include a six-foot diameter steel tube with a non-magnetic sub-track.
- The winner of a Hyperloop pod design contest to be held later this month will have the chance to build and test his or her winning design on the new track this summer.
"AECOM has designed and built some of the world's most impressive transportation systems, so we appreciate how the development of a functioning Hyperloop with SpaceX can dramatically expand the ways people move across cities, countries, and continents," AECOM CEO Michael Burke said in a statement.
However, while AECOM is building SpaceX’s track, they are not endorsing it over other Hyperloop projects.
"Multiple groups are involved in Hyperloop development efforts, and AECOM has not endorsed or validated any technology or approach," the company said.
AECOM has also been in talks with Hyperloop startup Hyperloop Transportation Technologies to build their five-mile test track, also in California. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in May.
Hyperloop Technologies is yet another startup with plans to build a test track on a 50-acre site in Apex, NV, just north of Las Vegas and close to Musk’s Tesla gigafactory. Although Musk is not directly involved with either startup, his 2013 Hyperloop concept white paper dropped an open design challenge that is credited with giving the Hyperloop concept momentum.