Elon Musk’s Hyperloop has 400 spare-time “team members” – and heavyweight industrial support

Elon Musk’s ultra-high-speed Hyperloop transit system now has more than 400 "core team members" and is allied with firms such as US engineering giant Aecom, Swiss technology group Oerlikon and Californian design studio Hodgetts & Fung.

The companies are each tackling particular elements of the Hyperloop, which works by putting a maglev capsule in a vacuum tube, thereby achieving frictionless travel.

We receive applications from professionals and are approached by industry leading companies every day– Dirk Ahlborn, Hyperloop

For example, the problem of constructing the tubes is being investigated by Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum, which has previously worked on CERN’s large hadron collider.

Martin Fuellenbach, the company’s chief executive, said: "Here is a chance to have the best minds in the world working together on an idea for the future. This is a very special obligation for us, and our staff welcome this challenge."

Andrew Liu, the vice president of new ventures at Aecom, said the project fitted well with his company’s ambitions. He said: "Hyperloop’s approach to addressing transportation challenges is consistent with our focus on delivering innovative solutions that positively impact the communities we serve."

Hodgetts & Fung, a 30-year-old studio that is made up of architects and designers, commented on its Facebook page that it had "as an "never looked to the past – always the future. But never so far to the future as the Hyperloop".

Craig Hodgetts said: "We together share a vision to transform transportation, and with it to transform neighbourhoods, relationships and the way business is done."

Hyperloop Demonstration Track (PRNewsFoto/Hyperloop Transportation Tech.)

The 400 team members are not regular employees, but rather people with jobs at places like NASA, Boeing and SpaceX. Individuals work on the project in their spare time in exchange for stock options.

Dirk Ahlborn, the chief executive of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), said: "Our team continues to grow and, along with these new alliances, is representative of the collaborative spirit of HTT. We receive applications from professionals and are approached by industry leading companies every day."

Hyperloop was founded in 2013 by Musk, who was also involved in the founding of the PayPal e-commerce system.

In June, Hyperloop announced a test track and design competition for human pods. Groundbreaking for this project is due to begin in 2016 in Quay Valley California.

Top image: Hyperloop Washington (PRNewsFoto/Hyperloop Transportation Tech.)

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