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Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), the startup behind the world's first supersonic overland transport system, has announced that construction for a passenger-ready Hyperloop will begin next year.
"We feel now that we're at a stage where questions are answered on a theoretical level so now we're moving on to prototyping," Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of HTT, told IBTimes UK.
A five-mile stretch of the Hyperloop system will be built in a new "sustainable 21st Century town" midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco called Quay Valley, which is also set to be built in 2016.
According to Ahlborn, Hyperloop will be ready for passengers by 2018, the same year that the company plans to begin construction on the first full-scale version.
"This five-mile stretch will allow us to completely test the technology, from the boarding process to the safety procedures - really everything except top speed," Ahlborn said.
Before it is rolled out across the rest of California and the US, certain permitting issues will need to be overcome with local authorities.
When built, the full-scale version of the vacuum transportation network will take passengers and freight at speeds of up to 760mph. The system has previously been described as a 1000% improvement on today's transport.
Beyond the US, dozens of other countries have expressed an interest in Hyperloop, including China and the United Arab Emirates. For Ahlborn, these countries offer the most hope for full-scale systems being implemented because, "if they decide to build something like Hyperloop, they just build it."
Quay Valley: Solar-powered and self-sustaining
Permitting for Hyperloop in Quay Valley has not been an issue as the town is being developed on 7,500 acres of private land.
Plans for the town were first put forward in 2007 but were shelved just one year after following the recession.
The project is being marketed as the first 100% solar-powered, self-sustaining residential community, comprising 25,000 homes, schools, hotels and attractions.
"With Quay Valley, we're creating a community built on economical, environmental and social sustainability, and part of this is seeking to reduce car dependency," said Quay Hays, CEO of GROW Holdings.
"For these reasons, the Hyperloop is the ideal clean community transit system for Quay Valley."