One bold Reddit user claims to have captured a photo of a high-speed Hyperloop test track being built outside of Los Angeles at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. The post, which originally went up yesterday, has Hyperloop enthusiasts and graphics experts in a tizzy, debating about the authenticity of the Redditor’s claim. If this image is genuine, it marks the very first glimpse of the futuristic public transportation system that could someday allow commuters to travel up to 700mph between major cities in California.
Reddit user Flattentheskyline originally posted the photo to the /r/science subreddit and the post was automatically removed, since it didn’t meet the requirements for posts in the science category. The user reposted it to another subreddit, where it was also booted before finding a home under the more generic /r/pics/ subpage.
Popular Mechanics reported on the photo, saying they can’t really tell whether it’s genuine. That is to say, they looked at it, they ran it through several graphics tools to help evaluate authenticity, and they weren’t able to say that it is or is not a real, untouched photo. We can’t tell either, but if this photo is genuine, it’s pretty exciting.
It’s well known that a five-mile test track is planned for construction by Hyperloop Transportation Technology, which is a separate company not technically related to Musk’s SpaceX. That’s what makes this photo a little suspicious. The Redditor who posted the claim says a neighboring business owner told him that “Elon’s factory that just popped up outta nowhere.” The test track section reportedly captured in the photo in Los Angeles is claimed to be part of a one-mile track, but no official statements from Musk’s camp have addressed that theory yet.
Images via Reddit user Flattentheskyline