Traveling between the coffeehouses of Vienna and bars of Bratislava may soon take the same amount of time as an old-school ab workout thanks to one of Elon Musk’s favorite concepts.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies just signed an agreement in Slovakia to move forward with building a local high-speed transport system with the goal of eventually expanding it to link Bratislava to Vienna and Budapest.
The futuristic transportation systems — one of which is being tested in Las Vegas by a company that dreams of one day transporting travelers from San Francisco to L.A. in 34 minutes — can hit a max speed of 760 MPH, which would make the journey between Bratislava and Vienna about eight minutes.
Slovakia’s Minister of the Economy says the vacuum-filled tube network could redefine the concept of commuting and the country is already securing land for the $200-300 million project.
“Slovakia is a technological leader in the automotive, material science, and energy industries, many of the areas that are integral to the Hyperloop system ,” says HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn. “Having a European hyperloop presence will incentivize collaboration and innovation within Slovakia and throughout Europe.”
HTT has more than 500 freelancers working on the project — some of whom have day jobs at Boeing and NASA — and is compensating its volunteer engineers with future stock options. An exact timeline for the project is yet to be released, but the company is already crowdsourcing locations for a second Hyperloop system via its Facebook page.
“My apartment” to “my office” is unfortunately not an option.