Imagine traveling from Shreveport to New Orleans in less than 40 minutes. How about Lafayette to Baton Rouge in less than 10 minutes? It could happen. While the immediate future might not having us in flying cars ala The Jetsons. We could be traveling close to the speed of sound between cities in Louisiana in the next few decades.

A mechanical engineering team from LSU is currently in California testing hypotheses concerning travel in a hyperloop. The hyperloop is a vacuum tube. Think about the tube at your local bank's drive-in teller location. The vehicle inside the tube is literally floating inside the tube and being pulled along at near supersonic speeds by the force of the vacuum.

We want to know real world, what is practical, what can we do? Because behind the theory, there are lots of assumptions, now we’re going to test everything in the real world.

LSU Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor and the team’s faculty adviser Aly-Mousaad Aly told the Louisiana Radio Network that it's one thing to create models and apply theories on a computer but things often perform differently in the real world.

Educationally it’s an excellent project, practically, it can be but it still needs support. But who knows, this could be really the future of transportation.

The LSU team is one of 30 selected from around the world to participate in a prototype competition in California this weekend. The competition is sponsored by technology innovator Space X.

It’s a worldwide competition, so teams from everywhere. I hope they’re going to win, however for me as an instructor, we’ve already achieved the goal.

The results registered by the LSU team's design will be compared with the results generated by the other teams in the competition. I certainly hope this technology proves to be sound and cost efficient for practical application. The time saved in traffic congestion alone could be worth billions of dollars in lost production.