Maryland became the first state to grant electric carmaker Elon Musk permission to begin digging tunnels to build his high-speed transportation tube called a hyperloop.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced the decision to allow Musk to begin digging via Twitter on Friday. Musk’s “Hyperloop” would rocket passengers from Washington to New York in less than 30 minutes.
The transportation system looks like something George Jetson from the 1960s cartoon series would use to get to work. The Hyperloop uses the power of frictionless vacuum-sealed tubes to fire pods of passengers a neck-breaking speeds to there destinations.
Musk started the project this year through his latest venture, called the Boring Co., which has been in negotiations with the District of Columbia and states along the path to connect the nation’s capital to Wall Street.
The Maryland Department of Transportation granted Musk, who also owns carmaker Tesla, a conditional permit to begin digging a tunnel underneath one of the more congested roadways that connects D.C. to Baltimore, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. The permit is for digging a 10.3-mile tunnel under a part of the parkway that Maryland owns. The federal government owns the rest of it.
The state does not plan to contribute funding to the project and is treating the Boring Co. like any utility that requires a permit to, for example, build a pipeline to carry water or natural gas.