For months we’ve been hearing about “the Hyperloop” and how it will change the way in which the world travels, starting in California. The Hyperloop is the brainchild of entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk who is also known for Tesla automotive and Space X, both ground breaking companies in their respective fields. The hyperloop is basically a transport system for commuters that according to Musk would zip riders between LA and San Francisco in thirty minute, faster than airliners do now and supposedly much cheaper too.

The idea was spurred on by the High Speed Rail project which is expected to cost billions and would use outdated railroad technology in an effort to free up California’s overused freeway system. Musk thought that there had to be a better and cheaper way to accomplish the same thing using a modern technology approach. So this is how the idea of the hyperloop was born.

So what’s the latest? Actually test tracks are now in the planning stages. In fact it’s a bit of a race befitting the goal of moving passengers and cargo at the speed of sound: Three Southern California companies are building separate test tracks to see how well the “hyperloop” transportation concept works in the real world. Capsules would float on a thin cushion of air and use magnetic attraction and solar power to zoom through nearly airless tubes. With little wind resistance, they could make the 400-mile trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco in about a half-hour. Musk has said that while he does not plan to develop the hyperloop commercially, he wants to accelerate its development.

If all goes well, by summer’s end, the track will host prototype capsules that emerge from a design competition at Texas A&M University. The prototype pods would be half the size of the system that Musk envisioned and would not carry people.

Things are moving right along and some day soon you may be able to zip up to the bay area in thirty minutes.