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Hyperloop test track to be built in California

US rocket manufacturer SpaceX is to build a test track for so-called hyperloop transport technology.

The company said it would construct the 1.6km-long track next to its California headquarters to help advance its idea for a futuristic tubular transport system.

The idea of a low pressure tube system was first mooted back in 2013 as a solution for journeys between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Earlier this year it was claimed that such a system could work at 1,200 km/h and have a similar impact on human existance as the internet.

SpaceX said in a statement this week: “There has been a tremendous amount of interest in the concept. We are excited that a handful of private companies have chosen to pursue this effort.

The company said that while it was not developing a commercial hyperloop itself, it was interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional prototype.

“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,” it said.

“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 June 2016. The knowledge gained here will continue to be open-sourced.”

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