Hyperloop One shuts down

Hyperloop One, the sci-fi mass-transit system pitched by Elon Musk and Richard Branson, is finished. The company is shutting down, laying off most of its employees, and liquidating assets.

Once a high-profile startup, Hyperloop One raised more than $450 million since its founding in 2014, according to PitchBook. It built a small test track near Las Vegas to develop its transportation technology, and for a time took the name Virgin Hyperloop One after Richard Branson's Virgin invested. Virgin removed its branding after the startup decided last year to focus on cargo rather than people.

Bloomberg News's headline–"After Failing to Reinvent Transit"–is interesting because Hyperloop impressed national politicians, municipal technocrats, and the sort of media that thoughtlessly poses him as a visionary genius. It successfully limited the prospects for traditional mass transit while Musk sold cars.

"he admitted to his biographer that the reason the Hyperloop was announced—even though he had no intention of pursuing it—was to try to disrupt the California high-speed rail project and to get in the way of that actually succeeding."

It's hardly rocket science!