LOS ANGELES — Billionaire Elon Musk wants to jump-start his Hyperloop high-speed transit system.
Musk's rocket-building company, SpaceX, announced Monday that it plans to build a 1-mile test track next to its headquarters in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne and will hold a competition there next year to test designs for passenger-carrying Hyperloop pods.
It's the first time Musk's company has been directly involved in the Hyperloop project, although several private firms are pursuing research.
Suggested by Musk two years ago, the idea is to zoom passenger capsules through elevated tubes between Los Angeles and San Francisco at speeds of up to 750 mph. The concept pulls together several proven technologies: Capsules would float on a thin cushion of air and draw on magnetic attraction and solar power to zoom through a nearly airless tube. With little wind resistance, the capsules could reach the speed of sound and the 400-mile ride would take a half-hour.