Virgin Hyperloop One will build a $500 million research center in a tiny Spanish village

Bobadilla, a small town in southern Spain that is nestled between a 130-year-old railroad and the Guadalhorce River, is not really known by much. But soon, it will have a $ 500 million technical complex dedicated to an ultra-fast and futuristic transportation system that was first conceived by Elon Musk.

Virgin Hyperloop One announced an agreement on Tuesday with the state administrator of railway infrastructures to build a research and development center in the small Spanish town. It will be the first incursion of the company based in Los Angeles on the European continent.

But while Bobadilla (population 480) may seem an unlikely place for the future of supersonic travel, the Andalusian region is fast becoming a high-tech seedbed – activity technology According to Virgin Hyperloop One, the region has more than 9,000 transport and logistics companies, as well as the second largest aerospace cluster in Spain and 20,000 R & D employees. The company says it will seek to hire 200 300 high-tech workers for the staff of the new facility.

The 19,000-square-meter (204,000-square-foot) center, which is planned to open in 2020, will develop, test and certify components and subsystems to continuously improve the safety and reliability of Hyperloop systems, the company says.

However, it will not be the only Hyperloop facility on the continent. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, or Hyperloop TT, is currently working to build a test track in Toulouse, France, and is working with a Spanish engineering company to build a full-scale passenger pod.

In addition to the Virgin Hyperloop One headquarters in Los Angeles, the company maintains a 500-meter test track in the desert outside of Las Vegas. There, he has carried out several high-speed tests, the most recent of which sent his prototype carbon fiber capsule through an almost airless tube at a top speed of 240 mph. The original concept of Musk theorized speeds of up to 760 mph.

The new R & D center, however, will not include an additional test track for the company, a spokesperson said. The most likely location for a new hyperloop track seems to be Dubai, where Virgin Hyperloop One recently partnered with DP World to launch an ultra-fast system for shipping merchandise. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson recently said he believes Hyperloop will be ready for human passengers by 2021.

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