In a recent op-ed for CapX, I discussed the recent announcement that the first full-scale, fully operational hyperloop track will be ready to start transporting people throughout California’s Quay Valley sometime in 2018, with construction set to begin in the next half year. The hyperloop, for those unfamiliar with the most recent endeavor of billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, is Musk’s attempt to disrupt the transportation sector in significant ways. How, you wonder?

Well, the hyperloop is designed to propel individual pods at near-sonic speed using magnetic levitation (maglev) through a vacuum-sealed tube. Though it sounds cutting edge, most of the technology that makes the hyperloop feasible is decades old. The real problem isn’t getting the technology right; it’s dealing with a host of regulatory hurdles that could stand in the way of such a system constructed on a larger scale, specifically with regards to inter-city travel.

But some of the system’s regulatory conundrums could very well result from the companies involved in construction. As I note in the article:

Afshin Pishevar, legal counsel for Hyperloop Technologies Inc., has said that one of the primary regulatory obstacles is the government, which “is still moving at the pace of the previous century.” But Pishevar’s solution to this conundrum seems dubious: “Hopefully we can get a custom-made administrative and regulatory body that deals with Hyperloop instead of trying to change existing regulations.” Somehow this doesn’t strike me as the best way to embrace a newly emergent and disruptive technology.

To read more about the hyperloop, check out the full article here.