Get ready for a big ol’ Hyperloop showdown

Is the Hyperloop–Elon Musk’s futuristic vision of a super-high speed transportation system–really just a vision for a sci-fi future?

The two companies leading the charge to actually make Hyperloop a reality–neither of which Musk is formally involved with–certainly don’t think so, and they’re battling it out in the public eye this week, with one, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, shouting to the world yesterday that it has licensed a Lawrence Livermore National Lab system, called Inductrak, to lift its people-carrying pods into the air. 

The other, Hyperloop Technologies, is having an actual propulsion test tomorrow, in the desert outside Las Vegas, as well as having a big ol’ press briefing today to unveil what it promises will be very big company news. 

“Join us as we conduct our very first propulsion open air test, live,” Hyperloop Tech boasted, in its press invite. “This will be our most substantial engineering test to date, on our way to realizing the full potential of the Hyperloop system.”

Lest we forget, there’s a third company playing in this game, too: SkyTran, which has raised $30 million for its “high-speed, low-cost, elevated Personal Rapid Transportation (PRT) system.”

No one is expecting to jump on board one of these Jetsons-style pods any time soon, but you know what they say: Competition is good, and leads to better things. 

We’ll have all the news from the Hyperloop Tech press events today and tomorrow, and a much better idea of whether Musk’s vision is really any closer to being realized.