Musk’s ‘Verbal Govt Approval’ of Hyperloop Project Wasn’t Exactly Official
‘Oops’ might not cover this miscommunication.
Elon Musk's side project, SpaceX, has been working diligently with its aptly-named brother, The Boring Company, to create an ultra-fast underground transit system to improve the way Americans travel. In a recent interview with Recode, it was confirmed that the apparent approval that Musk spoke of wasn't exactly a green light for the project to move forward in its current state.
In July, Tesla CEO Elon Musk Tweeted that he had received government approval to begin the first stages of a Hyperloop which spans from New York to Washington D.C., with stops in Philadelphia and Baltimore. The overall trip would be completed in an astounding 29 minutes, much less than if traveling by car, and far more convenient than if traveling by plane. This is thanks to a series of vacuum-tight tunnels which permit a tracked vehicle to travel at ultra-fast speeds, cutting down travel times significantly.
Even though the tech seems impressive and Musk has been working on testing various projects from companies he founded, it isn't quite ready for full-scale production, according to the government. While the New York to Washington D.C. Hyperloop was thought to have been approved, it wasn't clear who officiated the project. As it turns out, the approval itself may have been a miscommunication, according to the White House.
Reed Cordish, a top technology adviser to President Donald Trump, voiced in an interview with Recode that his word wasn't an official green light. When polled regarding the source of the approval, it became clear that the adviser may have been behind the miscommunication. “I think that I was the culprit,” said Cordish, “As I said to Elon after, I think what you heard was ‘verbal government excitement.’”
Though this wasn't an official green light to the project, Cordish did explain that the White House was working on infrastructure reform and didn't eliminate the possibility of the project's viability, nor did he cut communications with Musk and his team. "We are working with them every day,” Cordish mentioned, “talking to [Elon Musk] and his company every day about the Boring Company.”
As more companies begin to emerge that want to bring Hyperloop-like technology to the world, more competition arises to improve infrastructure. Once regulations and approvals are passed into law, companies like SpaceX can begin work with official approval and change the transportation sector as we know it.