Elon Musk's Hyperloop system is not long for this world, according to recent reports.
Bloomberg claims that the Musky-scented people moving system known as Hyperloop One will be shutting down operations and laying off hundreds of staff and burning through hundreds of millions in venture capital funds.
The shutdown of Hyperloop One is reportedly set to become official on December 31.
Envisioned as a next-gen transport system that could move both passengers and freight over the vast distances of the continental US, Hyperloop One generated plenty of industry hype with the promise of high-speed travel at a fraction of the price of airplane freight.
Musk's company garnered support from fellow industry titans such as Richard Branson, whose Virgin brand pumped cash into the startup on visions of revolutionizing transportation and dramatically lowering the cost of moving both people and goods.
As far back as 2013, Musk envisioned the tube rail system as a land-based alternative to hypersonic flight, moving both passengers and freight over moderate distances.
"Short of figuring out real teleportation, which would of course be awesome (someone please do this), the only option for super fast travel is to build a tube over or under the ground that contains a special environment," Musk wrote in a research paper.
The plan, however, seems to have failed to account for a number of risk factors such as the maintenance costs associated with building and running a high-speed tube rail line, something Musk tried to address in part with his launch of his tunnel-drilling outfit cheekily known as The Boring Company.
Aside from its ill-fated attempts to undermine traditional mass-transit systems with single-car carriages that ran on sophisticated rail technologies over very specific routes, Hyperloop One was known for its headline-grabbing antics and corporate drama.
While Hyperloop One had secured a high-profile deal in Las Vegas to build a line between the city's convention center and The Strip, other deals failed to materialize and the startup was unable to expand its operations to the level its founders had envisioned.
Scandal also played a factor in the company's struggles to transition out of the startup phase.
Most notably, in 2017 the company had a very messy public separation with one Brogan BamBrogan (née Kevin Brogan,) an entrepreneur whose legal name is a hybrid of his own birth name and that of his partner Bambie BamBrogan (née Bambie Liu).
You can guess why the demise of the operation did not come entirely as a shock to some industry observers.