Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche


Is Hyperloop One about to Have a Real “Kitty Hawk Moment?”

Hyperloop One might be close to testing its pods with passengers inside. Such test would be historic and a real “Kitty Hawk Moment.”

Hyperloop One began testing its DevLoop test system in North Las Vegas, Nevada, in May by running sleds through it at 70 miles per her hour. The Los Angeles based Unicorn also unveiled its full scale Hyperloop Pod this month.

The Pod; which looks like a bigger version of an Olympic bobsled, appears to be big enough to carry passengers. Pictures and video of the pod are now featured on Hyperloop One’s website, which indicates that it actually works.

Evidence that Hyperloop One is close to Carrying Passengers

My guess is that Hyperloop One has been testing been the pod for some time and knows that it works. That means they’ve perfected the basic design and are ready to begin work on the passenger pod.

There’s some pretty obvious evidence of this at Hyperloop One’s website. In the careers section the company is advertising for two Safety Certification Managers, a Senior Pod Safety Engineer and a Senior Safety Engineer. Why would Hyperloop One need safety engineers if they were not planning to haul people?

The company has already a Vice President of World Business Development – Passenger Systems Alan James Phd. Why would they need somebody in charge of Passenger systems if they were not planning to build one? There’s also a Director of Safety Engineering; Andrea Vaccaro MS, another sign they’re planning to haul passengers. Full details of this can be found at the Team section of Hyperloop One’s website.

Interestingly enough they’re looking for a Safety Certification Manager for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). That mean they’re planning to build a passenger system in the UAE or the first passenger system there.

Has Hyperloop One Been Testing their System on Animals?

This raises the intriguing possibility that Hyperloop One has an operational pod capable of carrying passengers right now.

Such a pod would not be hard to build the engineering for it is well-known; it would be similar to a jet airliner, a piece of technology we’ve had for nearly 70 years. That means it can be constructed with off the shelf technology.

My guess is that Hyperloop One has been testing the pod for some time. Since it’s pressurized there’s a good possibility they’ve been testing it with animals.

Something they would not want to advertise these days. The last thing Hyperloop One would want is Pamela Anderson Lee and other animal rights activists picketing their test facility. Just one news article about the cute little dog killed in the Hyperloop test would make them look bad.

Note: I have no personal objection to animal testing. It’s certainly better than the alternative of testing on human beings. One of my pet peeves about the animal rights movement; is that they would not care if Hyperloop One were testing its system on homeless people or prisoners from the state pen, but they would protest if one puppy dog was killed.

When will Hyperloop One Carry Passengers?

My guess is that Hyperloop One will test their system on animals and human passengers for several weeks or months before unveiling it. Then they will have a big ceremony in which a batch of celebrities like Duane “the Rock” Johnson, Snoop Dogg, Will Smith, Wayne Newton, Celine Dion; and whatever headliner is working the Las Vegas Strip that week, will take a ride in it for the TV cameras.

Building the DevLoop in North Las Vegas is a brilliant move on Hyperloop One’s part because once it is up and running they can get tourists and other visitors from all over the world to take a ride in it. The riders would then go home and start pressuring their local governments to build a Hyperloop.

A competing pod at Elon Musk’s SpaceX Hyperloop Pod contest in January.

A really smart move would be to build a Hyperloop Line connecting the Las Vegas Strip and North Las Vegas then extend it to McCaran International Airport, Henderson, Boulder City and the Hoover Dam. That would provide an excellent demonstration project for a commuter and tourist Hyperloop. A similar system in the UAE would serve much the same purpose.

This makes Hyperloop a lot like the airplane, the Wright Brothers tested their creation extensively before making public demonstrations. Then once they had completed the successful “Kitty Hawk Moment,” the Wrights’ staged hundreds of public flights to show the public what they had.

When will Hyperloop One Issue Stock?

My guess is that once Hyperloop One has a working system it will hold its initial public offering (IPO) and start issuing stock. That’ll be a smart move because the stock will probably shoot up in value and generate a lot of money.

If it’s anything like Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) Hyperloop One stock might shoot up to several hundred dollars a share. That will make it a very stupid investment because the price will be based on pure speculation.

Hyperloop is a largely unproven concept that will take years to perfect and more years to build. It’ll also face resistance from Luddites, intellectuals, investors in competing transportation systems, politicians and possibly labor unions at some point. Railroad workers and airline pilots are not going to sit by and let Hyperloop wipe out their high paying jobs without a fight.

If Hyperloop One holds an IPO investors should buy one or two shares for fun but not put a large amount of money in it. A Hyperloop One stock will not make any money for a long time to come. A far better investment will be land along the Hyperloop route which will shoot up in value.

Note: an interesting way to cash in might be to check and see where Hyperloop One executives and board members like Shervin Pishevar, Rob Lloyd, Josh Giegel, Nick Earle, Ziyavudin Magomedov, Jim Messina and Brent Callincos are buying land. If they know where the system is going those people might move to cash in.

A passenger carrying Hyperloop is about to appear and it might make this technology into a serious investment. What’s even more exciting is that it might be possible for anybody to ride in a Hyperloop Pod in Las Vegas or the UAE in a few years.