Update: This segment was filmed before The Boring Company on Friday announced that testing has begun on a full-scale Hyperloop.
In a clear sign that the project isn’t progressing as hoped, the prototype tunnel for the SpaceX Hyperloop has been torn down and turned into a parking lot.
According to Bloomberg, the approximately one-mile long track was built in Hawthorne, California in 2016. It included a foundation and steel tube along with an aluminum track and the interior lighting. Beginning in 2017, the site was host to student competitions where Hyperloop Pod prototypes hit speeds as high as 201 miles per hour.
But now, the spot is a cluster of parking spaces for SpaceX employees.
A hyperloop transportation system consisting of an enclosed tube with a low-pressure environment inside and allows a pressurized pod to carry passengers at high speeds thanks to low levels of air resistance and friction. It’s an idea that’s been floated by other companies. Virgin had plans to build a hyperloop for human passengers but earlier this year the company reportedly laid off half its employees and shifted its focus toward moving cargo.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has insisted that his company’s Hyperloop will become a functioning travel option for people. “From a known physics standpoint, this is the fastest possible way of getting from one city center to another for distances less than about 2000 miles,” he tweeted earlier this year.
But the Boring Company, which Musk said will eventually build a working Hyperloop, has been more focused on just regular Loop. It’s an all-electric, zero-emissions underground public transportation system in which passengers are transported to their destination with no intermediate stops. The company affectionately refers to it as "Teslas in tunnels."
The Boring Company earlier this year said it raised another $675 million to help accelerate hiring and scale projects like the Vegas Loop. While the Loop is a good step toward providing safe and relatively inexpensive public transportation, it’s not the crazy fast people tube we were promised.