Missouri is in the running to land a futuristic transportation system that would move people between Kansas City and St. Louis in only 23 minutes.
On Wednesday, transportation tech firm Hyperloop One announced 11 semifinalist routes in the U.S. that could receive its system that propels vehicles at speeds of about 760 miles per hour. The announcement comes as part of the company’s global competition that’s garnered more than 2,600 applicants around the world. The challenge launched in May 2016 as an open call to people, universities, companies and governments to develop comprehensive proposals for using Hyperloop’s transport tech in their region to move passengers and freight.
The firm said that the Missouri route would help connect roughly five million people along the 240-mile route. It would also include a stop in Columbia, which would be a 13-minute trip from Kansas City.
Think of the Hyperloop system as high-speed rail travel in a vacuum. Via a series of interconnected tubes that create a low-pressure environment, levitated pods are propelled by electric motors, gliding with limited friction at speeds that surpass air travel.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk once described the technology behind Hyperloop as “a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.”
Other U.S. routes that were named as finalists include: Columbus to Pittsburgh; Cheyenne to Houston; Los Angeles to San Diego; Miami to Orlando; Seattle to Portland; and several others. The company plans to announce the winners in May.
Here’s a video of the first Hyperloop test.