Our friends over at Unplugged Performance (company site here) threw a smashing party just a few short weeks back for the Tesla Model 3 unveiling. While there, we were fortunate enough to get an exclusive tour of their facility and chat for a bit with founder Ben Schaffer. They had two of their custom rides out on display for us to inspect and gawk at, which made for an extremely engaging evening just hanging out with fellow Tesla lovers, owners, and aficionados.
While we were there, a group of Tesla employees came by to look at the cars on display before quickly heading back towards Teslaville. On a brief walking tour of the area to keep things moving after the tasty BBQ, we also noticed that much of the facility was occupied by another Musk venture — SpaceX. We knew that going in, but the sheer footprint of these two businesses in a single complex was a bit overwhelming.
Maybe not so much overwhelming as it was just plain exciting. It almost felt like just hanging out in this plaza would make someone more optimistic, more entrepreneurial, and more willing to ‘let it ride’ to chase their dreams. I don’t think I was the only one to come away from the overall experience with a renewed sense of optimism, and I don’t think it was just the tasty (veggie) burger I had.
Beyond the known quantities in the plaza, a newcomer has just cracked the seal on another secret Musk inspiration that’s coming to the Hawthorne Airport complex — hyperloop. It may be the youngin’ on the block, but hyperloop is coming to town with a full head of steam, ready to take over.
Our friends over at Unplugged Performance just shared that “hyperloop is being built right in front of our office! Starting this month!” along with a rendering of a hyperloop tube. Ben dropped us a note to let us know about the exciting news.
Elon Musk and SpaceX kicked off the hyperloop competition to spur on innovators towards the goal of developing a low-carbon, long-distance, low-cost, high-speed mode of transportation. As part of the competition, SpaceX announced that it will be building a 1 mile test track near the SpaceX HQ, so the construction in the area makes sense.
Global infrastructure giant AECOM was selected to build the test track back in January and is finally moving forward with the start of actual construction of the track.
“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,” said Michael S. Burke, AECOM chairman and chief executive officer.
The new track will be used to vet the designs of the new technology from the competition, with the intent of moving the overall hyperloop solution forward. The page over at SpaceX announces the next step in the competition:
“For this reason, SpaceX is announcing an open competition, geared towards university students and independent engineering teams, to design and build the best Hyperloop pod. To support this competition, SpaceX will construct a one-mile test track adjacent to our Hawthorne, California headquarters. Teams will be able to test their human-scale pods during a competition weekend at the track, currently targeted for Summer 2016. The knowledge gained here will continue to be open-sourced.”
We covered the most recent step in the hyperloop competition back in January and are looking forward to covering the actual event in Hawthorne when the time comes.
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