Hyperloop is all the rage in any talks of the future of public transportation. The concept was developed by Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One to provide a high-speed rail connecting cities all over the world at never before seen speeds. There are currently dozens of proposals for installations across the globe, including these nine routes in Europe announced by the company at the beginning of the month.
When you go out of town, you usually need to buy a few nights at a hotel in addition to a plane, train, or bus ticket.
Brandan Siebrecht, a graduate architecture student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, wants to combine these components into one experience. He designed what he calls the “Hyperloop Hotel,” a system that would feature a transit system and 13 hotels in different cities throughout the United States.
Siebrecht is the student winner of this year’s Radical Innovation Award , a competition for imaginative hotel designs. In June, a jury of seven hotel investors, developers, and architects selected Driftscape as the one of two finalists out of over 65 submissions from 24 countries.
The futuristic concept would eliminate the need to buy separate transit tickets for most of the largest cities in the US. It calls for hotels in 13 locations — Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, Sante Fe, Austin, Chicago, Nashville, Washington, DC, New York City, and Boston — which would all be connected by a “Hyperloop system.”
The design was inspired by DevLoop, a real test track for Hyperloop Onebeing developed north of Las Vegas. A concept first introduced by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2013, a hyperloop is a mode of transportation that would propel a pod-like vehicle through a reduced-pressure tube. Hyperloop One wants the system to be energy-efficient, autonomous, and quicker than a plane.
For a flat fee of $1,200, Hyperloop Hotel guests would be able to zoom quickly between the network of cities, all while never leaving their room, Siebrecht tells Business Insider. He hasn’t estimated what each night would cost yet.
“Guests would be able to travel to any hotel destination within the network and even visit multiple destinations in a single day,” Siebrecht said.
The size of the modular hotels, which Siebrecht estimates would cost around $10 million each to build, would depend on the location. Hotels in dense cities would likely have smaller footprints than ones in less dense areas.
Guest suites would be made of re-purposed shipping containers that Siebrecht says would be “outfitted for luxury.” Each would include an office, a living room with a flatscreen TV, a bedroom, and a bathroom.
There are no concrete plans to build the first Hyperloop Hotel, since the technology and infrastructure it would require doesn’t actually exist.
Siebrecht believes construction of his hotel concept could be feasible within the next five to 10 years.
“I believe the Hyperloop One is the next big innovation in transportation in the United States and possibly the world,” he said. “I wanted to explore ways in which this technology could transform the overall travel experience and hospitality.
Europe already enjoys an extensive and diverse system of railways. Still, there is always room for improvement, and an Elon Musk-inspired company is looking to introduce the continent to the next generation of travel.
Hyperloop One has unveiled their shortlist of potential European routes for their high-speed transportation project. Shervin Pishevar, the company’s co-founder and executive chairman, told CNBC, “Our vision is to, one day, connect all of Europe with our Hyperloop One system, networking the entire continent.”
The list was compiled through a global challenge initiated by Hyperloop One to find the cities that would benefit the most from the cutting-edge transportation system. According to CNBC, the proposed cities would “…connect more than 75 million people in 44 cities, spanning 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles).”
The nine finalists range from a 1,991 km (1,237 mile) route through Germany to a 90 km (56 mile) route connecting Estonia to Finland. Other proposed routes would connect parts of Poland, cities in the Netherlands, the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, Spain and the north African country of Morocco, and several points in the United Kingdom.
It’s no wonder so many countries are eager to welcome this technology to their regions. If the system can perform as promised, it would revolutionize how we transport not only people but also cargo. At its peak speed, a Hyperloop is expected to be capable of traveling more than 1,000 kmh (700 mph). The company boasts on its website that a trip between the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney, a distance of 878 km (546 miles), would take only 55 minutes.
A system of Hyperloops would not only make traveling easier, it would also have a positive impact on a region’s environment and economy. Ideally, the system will be able to generate more solar power than it consumes, making it an excellent green travel alternative to automobiles, trains, and airplanes. Tickets to ride could also cost as little as $25, often making the clean choice easily the best choice for travelers.
It looks like the Netherlands would soon join Slovakia, and the Czech Republic as the next European country to have a Hyperloop. A Dutch team from the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) won this year’s edition of SpaceX’s competition to develop this next generation, super-fast transport technology, and they’re already setting up a full-scale testing center.
The Dutch team’s idea will be realized by tech startup Hardt Global Mobility, in partnership with TU Delft, the Dutch national railway NS, and construction company BAM. Building the 30 meter (98 foot) tube is the first step.
“In this facility we will test all systems that don’t require high speeds,” Hardt CEO Tim Houter told Reuters. “So think about the levitation system, but also the propulsion system, but really important, all the safety systems will be tested in this low-speed but full-scale testing facility.” The initial round of testing has already received $675,000 in funding. More would be needed for a high-speed test line by 2019 to accomplish their goal of setting up a Hyperloop system between Amsterdam and Paris by 2021.
First proposed in 2013 by SpaceX’s founder and CEO Elon Musk, the Hyperloop is transportation system for people and cargo that features pods traveling through tubes — or possibly tunnels — at roughly 1,126 k/h (700 mph). Apart from the European sites mentioned, other Hyperloop projects are already at work in Canada, Los Angeles, and Dubai.
Using magnets to propel trains is not a new technology but it is still far from being perfected or even just implemented on a large scale. There are currently only four operating systems in the world that rely on magnetic levitation. Two of the trains operate in China, the others are located in Japan and South Korea.
A video from YouTube channel Veritasiumtakes a look at the technology on a much smaller scale. Host Derek Muller talks to Casey Handmer, Levitation Engineer at Hyperloop One, who shows off the principles of the levitation behind Hyperloop’s transportation system using a 47 kg (105 lb) quadcopter.
Muller explains how the spinning magnets create the lift necessary to levitate the machine, and how the specific configuration of the magnets focuses its power in the desired direction.
Recently, Elon Musk let it slip that his Boring Company tunnels will work in tandem with Hyperloop’s pods. The system would use levitation technology to propel these pods at speeds exceeding 600 mph.
Hyperloop systems are not the only in development around the world, although they are the most high profile. Another train is in development in China that could connect people between distances similar to the distance between New York and Atlanta in less than two hours.
The most notable announcement that was finally confirmed? The Hyperloop.
The FAQ explains that Musk’s initial inspiration was: “to solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic.” The solution is to go three-dimensional, which could be done using flying cars — an idea Musk doesn’t think is very viable — or to go underground. “The other option is to ‘go down’ and build tunnels,” the website states, as these provide a fair amount of perks, including weatherproofing and the practically limitless layers of tunnels that could be built…much better than malfunctioning cars potentially plummeting from the sky.
But there is a problem. First, there’s the cost. Second, existing tunnels can’t support the Hyperloop pods. Musk’s new company is out to fix this.
“Currently, tunnels are really expensive to dig, with some projects costing as much as $1 billion per mile. In order to make a tunnel network feasible, tunneling costs must be reduced by a factor of more than 10,” explains the new FAQ. To make the tunnel more cost effective and efficient, its diameter is going to be less than 4 meters (14 feet) — whereas normal tunnels (one-lane road tunnels) are usually about 8.5 meters (28 feet) in diameter. To do this, Musk’s tunnel company would use what it calls an “electric sled.”
Musk’s Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) — or Godot — is ready to start digging the first among these network of tunnels. However, as the TBM isn’t even as fast as a snail yet, Musk is determined to find ways to make tunnel digging faster — “to defeat the snail in a race” by increasing the TBM’s speed, which will also cut down costs.
So, there’s now a place to start digging this tunnel under Los Angeles and a machine to do it. But what is this tunnel really meant for? At first, many thought Musk’s tunnels would be like every other tunnel – except they would be longer and could potentially connect “LAX to Culver City, Santa Monica, Westwood and Sherman Oaks,” as Musk said in an Instagram post.
However, as mentioned above, more details have come to light.
Since the company’s introduction, many (including Futurism) have speculated that the tunnels’ true purpose was to work in tandem with the Hyperloop. This is the real clincher here. It seems like The Boring Company isn’t just going to be for cars. “The electric skate can transport automobiles, goods, and/or people. And if one adds a vacuum shell, it is now a Hyperloop Pod which can travel at 600+ miles per hour,” the site explains.
The Hyperloop is another idea from Musk that is set to revolutionize transportation. It promises to connect individuals around the globe, making long-distance travel both speedy and remarkably affordable.
Initially discussed in 2013, the transport system would use a propulsion based on electromagnetism that could propel pods forward in vacuum-sealed steel tunnel at unprecedented speeds.
Cities in Europe, America, and the Middle East have expressed interest in adopting their own Hyperloop tracks, and study groups are at work making the concept a reality.While he doesn’t have a company working directly on Hyperloop technology, Musk has been behind several initiatives to turn it into a reality. Now, with The Boring Company, Musk is building a platform to launch and test the various Hyperloop efforts he helped put into motion.
Transportation of the future is being developed today: autonomous electric vehicles, flying cars, and the futuristic pods that make up the Hyperloop are just a few notable examples. There’s another idea vying to be the next generation of public transportation, and while it might look something like the Hyperloop, this tube transport company’s CEO Daryl Oster explains why it’s different:
“ET3: we call it a mag-lev limo, where it’s a car-sized vehicle that operates in a network of tubes much [like] cars on a freeway,” Oster told TechRepublic at the 2017 Smart Cincy Summit. “But, it would be international and global in scope.”
“Our vision is being able to travel from, say, here in Cincinnati to the Taj Mahal in under three hours for 50 bucks,” Oster added. Essentially, it’s a network of tubes that serve as a “freeway” which can be accessed via various points along its many routes.
The Future of (Tube) Transportation
While the ET3 is still in the concept phase, the Hyperloop has already moved further along the innovation highway. Since the idea was first pitched by serial entrepreneur and innovator Elon Musk in 2012, there are now two notable companies developing their own Hyperloop in the United States to Dubai.
All of these move us closer to what Transit X CEO Mike Stanley called “the impossible dream” of “making car-free cities within five years”, as he told TechRepublic. Maybe not exactly car-free: it’ll be more like a future with flying cars, autonomous cars, and “tube cars” — but that’s still pretty cool.
It now has a website with a futuristic concept video, and this week, what appears to be massive, branded proof of the Boring Company’s first drilling machine hit the internet. The image should go a long way toward alleviating lingering doubts that The Boring Company is anything more than a billionaire’s idea of a joke or a cover-up for Musk to work on a Hyperloop in secret.
When Musk spoke on the concept of tunneling at the Hyperloop Pod Competition’s first phase in 2016, he called it “a really simple and obvious idea.” He later explained to Bloomberg that he considers it a more practical solution to traffic congestion than airborne vehicles, which would require more infrastructure and regulatory approval — though those obstacles aren’t stoping companies like Uber and E-Volo from pursuing the tech.
Given Musk’s track record when it comes to introducing practical innovations built on remarkable tech, it certainly looks like it won’t be long before Musk’s Boring Company starts creating as much buzz as any of his other ventures. Clearly, the first step to that is adding a store to the website so they can start selling some of that cool merch Musk showed off last month.
Early details are trickling in about a partnership between Hyperloop One and Amazon to bring same-day delivery to a significant portion of the United States.
A tweet sent out early this morning by quarterly tech journal Port Technology shows Nick Earle, Senior Vice President of Global Field Operations at Hyperloop One, leading a talk at the journal’s Container Terminal Automation Conference being held in London.
The accompanying photograph shows the exec standing in front of a graphic presumably showing the regions the partnership will service. The graphic also lists some points related to cost savings.
Neither Amazon nor Hyperloop One have made any official announcements yet.
Hyperloop One is hoping to revolutionize land travel for both cargo and people. The company is busy building the infrastructure for its high-speed hyperloop system all around the world. Once completed, it will be able to move people and goods at extremely fast speeds of 1,000 kph (621 mph).
The speed of the pods themselves is not the only impressive feature of the system. According to Earle’s speech, “Not just speed — it’s demand that’s the important factor — freight pods could leave portals every 20 mins.”
A partnership between a major company like Amazon is a huge vote of confidence for Hyperloop One. Stay tuned.
Hyperloop One is seriously considering building its high-speed transit system in several states in the United States.
The Los Angeles-based startup held a two-day event in Washington DC this week to showcase its “Vision in America.” The event served two purposes: one, to evaluate eleven US route proposals for the high-speed transit system, and two, to meet with federal regulators in Washington about getting the system up and running.
“We’re trying to position Hyperloop as one of the best candidates that there are for re-inventing infrastructure in America,” Nick Earle, Hyperloop One’s senior vice president for global operations, told Business Insider. “It’s built in America, it can be implemented in America, it’s made in America…there are a lot of reasons why it fits with the national agenda right now.”
The event shows Hyperloop One is trying to get ahead of the regulatory curve before it even proves the technology.
The startup plans to launch a public trial, which Earle refers to as the company’s “Kitty Hawk moment,” on its two-mile development track in Nevada by the end of June. But a company has yet to prove the system Tesla CEO Elon Musk outlined in a White Paper in 2013.
Earlier this year, Hyperloop One launched a global challenge to crowdsource route proposals for a Hyperloop system in the US. After receiving over 2,600 submissions, the startup selected eleven finalists to present their vision in DC.
Hyperloop One says it will ultimately select two or three routes to study further. Scroll down for a look at all the routes under consideration:
1. Hyperloop Massachussetts
Led by Holly McNamara, selectman of the town of Somerset, the team proposes using a Hyperloop to connect Boston and Providence with stops at Somerset and Fall River. The Hyperloop would run for 64 miles.
The goal is to build an elevated system that shares highways and rail right-of-ways with connections to the Northeast Corridor, Amtrak’s most popular rail line that runs between Washington D.C. and Boston.
2. Team Rocky Mountain Hyperloop Consortium
The team is led by John Whitcomb, a member of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society. It proposed a long, 1,152-mile route between Cheyenne, Wyoming and Houston, Texas with stops in Denver, Dallas, and Forth Worth.
3. Team Hyperloop Missouri
The team is composed of Missouri’s Department of Transportation and is led by Thomas Blair, the department’s assistant district engineer, highlighting some state support for the project. The 240-mile route between Kansas and St. Louis would stop in Columbia.
4. Team Hyperloop Florida
The team is led by Alice Bravo, director of transportation development in Miami, highlighting similar state support to Team Missouri. The 257-mile system would transport passengers and cargo and run parallel to Highway 27 and I-4.
5. Team Hyperloop West
The team is comprised of architects, designers, and faculty members from Woodbury University and San Diego State University. The 121-mile system would transport cargo and passengers and make no stops in-between.
6. Team Hyperloop Nevada
The team is led by Steve Hill, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and includes support from the state’s Department of Transportation. The 454-mile sytem would carry freight and passengers and run along I-11.
7. Team Hyperloop Midwest
The 488-mile system would carry passengers and cargo between Pittsburgh and Chicago with a stop in Columbus. The team is led by Thea Walsh, director of transportation systems and funding for mid-Ohio regional planning.
8. Team PNW Hyperloop
The team is led by University of Washington students and proposes first carrying cargo along the 173-mile route before including passengers.
9. Team Rocky Mountain Hyperloop
Comprised of members of the Colorado Department of Transportation and engineering firm AECOM, the team boasts having partnerships with the Denver International Airport, the City of Denver, and the City of Greeley.
The first phase of the project would connect Denver International Airport to Greeley and would eventually expand into a 360-mile system.
10. Team Colorado Hyperloop
This is the third route proposal to pass through Denver, Colorado. This team is lead by Blake Anneberg, a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast. The first phase of the 242-mile project would run between Denver and Colorado Springs or Denver and Fort Collins before expanding to other cities.
11. Team Hyperloop Texas
The team was created by engineering firm AECOM and led by Steven Duong, an AECOM urban designer. The 640-mile system would connect all the major cities in Texas and carry passengers and cargo. The route would follow I-35 and I-10.
The Trump administration has called for border wall proposals, and a group of engineers called MADE Collective just responded in truly epic style. The group submitted a proposal for a “wall” that’s really a $15 billion hyperloop — that’s $6 billion less than the current estimate for a simple barrier from the Department of Homeland Security. MADE Collective estimates that such a loop would create $1 trillion in jobs.
MADE Collective, a group of Mexican and American urban planners and engineers, calls their project Otra Nation. This hyperloop transportation network would transform the border from unusable, dead space into a shared nation, with an independent local government and nonvoting representatives in the legislatures of both countries.
The Otra Nation hyperloop network would span 2,000 km (1,250 miles) and replace existing border fencing. Stations along the hyperloop would allow people to board, and the network would be powered by solar farms alongside it. Equal numbers of Mexican and American workers would be used to build the hyperloop system and staff it once it was operational. The group has posted a petition asking for support for their proposal.
“The existence of the border wall has become more a signifier of status than a barrier that each population sustains in its own form of isolation towards the opposite side,” the designers explained in their proposal. “The 19th century brought us boundaries, the 20th century we built walls, the next will bridge nations by creating communities based on shared principles of economic resiliency, energy independence, and a trust-based society.”
Other innovative, future-facing designs for the border wall include an “Inflatoborder” made of plastic bubbles, a binational park, and a wall covered in solar panels. In June, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection will announce the 10 companies it wants to hire to create prototypes.
The hyperloop is a transportation pod of the future first proposed by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. One of the companies hard at work in making this futuristic concept a reality is Los Angeles-based startup Hyperloop One. Now, Hyperloop One is a step closer to testing the technology, having finished its DeveLop test track in Las Vegas.
The almost 500-meter (1,640-foot) long track is a full-scale testing site that will facilitate Hyperloop One’s work on levitation, propulsion, vehicle control, and vacuum pressurization technologies as it prepares for its goal of a commercial launch. A completed test track marks a huge step for Hyperloop One, as it now has a working system that shows what the final version of these futuristic pods would look like.
Not Just For Human Transportation
Hyperloop One hasn’t just been hard at work in the United States, but also in Dubai, where it has plans for building a hyperloop network meant to transport not just people, but cargo. The Dubai plan features a hyperloop transportation system that integrates full passenger and cargo-capable pods that converge at specified terminals called “hyperloop portals.”
Hyperloop One has been getting considerable attention outside the U.S., but things may be changing now that the DeveLop test track is finished. Even President Donald Trump has expressed interest in the hyperloop.
On April 4, Hyperloop One held its Vision For America launch event in Washington, D.C., where they presented 11 proposed routes, cutting across 35 U.S. cities. “The eleven U.S. teams represent routes that would connect 35 metro areas and 83 million Americans: Las Vegas to Reno in 42 minutes. Chicago to Columbus in 29 minutes. Denver to Boulder in 5 minutes,” according to Hyperloop One’s blogpost.
Together with autonomous vehicles and flying cars, the hyperloop will join the league of futuristic transportation methods that once seemed limited to the pages of science fiction, but are now closer than ever within our reach.
Earlier this week, Elon Musk dined at the White House with the president to discuss his infrastructure plan for the country, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal. President Trump in turn expressed his interest in the Hyperloop.
While no concrete plans have been provided, the administration has stated their intentions to dedicate significant budget towards improving America’s roads and bridges. That certainly could include the latest technologies, like the Hyperloop. That being said, Trump’s curiosity for Musk’s ambitious transportation project doesn’t necessarily mean it come to fruition under his administration. According to The American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. would need $3.6 trillion to update the entire country’s infrastructure — and that’s not counting the Hyperloop.
Of course, apart from Musk sitting down with the President, there aren’t any concrete details that would suggest Trump could allot trillions from the federal budget for the project. Still, Trump’s interest could hint that the administration is looking towards privatizing American transportation infrastructure.
While it’s only a third of a mile (and has yet to be tested using actual pods or undergo public trials) the track is the first full-scale Hyperloop track. It also managed to complete a public trial of its propulsion system last year — however, it fell short of targets.
Ideally, the Hyperloop should be able to travel at 750 mph. The five-second, podless rail test only managed to hit 300 mph.
According to Musk, it would cost around $6 billion to create a Hyperloop line from Los Angeles to San Francisco. If that sounds like a lot, when you look at the cost per mile ($11.5 million) it actually works out to be less than a high-speed rail, according to Forbes. Musk’s intention to build the system in tunnels is putting more focus on additional costs, however. Of course, this all rests on the premise that a perfectly working Hyperloop can be built — and it’s still up for debate whether that, and the projected cost, is actually feasible.
Hyperloop One is set on revolutionizing the way we transport everything from people to cargo. The company believes in a simpler, tube-based mode of transportation that ramps up to speeds rivaling that of an airplane with the fees of a bus ticket, and India might find itself one of the lucky few countries where the company builds a hyperloop transportation system.
According to Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd, the company has been in communication with the ambitious government on ways to optimize a public-private partnership, with the Los Angeles-based company expecting to raise more than $100 million to invest in the country. For reference, Hyperloop One has already raised $32 million for its current projects in the U.S., Slovenia, and the U.A.E. — a third of the amount needed for the deal with India.
However, the government of India is willing to spend $59 billion to transform and modernize its transportation systems, which may just benefit the Hyperloop One team after all. A project of this scale would fit right into India’s “make in India” country-building initiative. The increase in business and manufacturing would put the hyperloop’s 1,000 kph (621 mph) speeds to great use by significantly decreasing transportation times between India’s major cities. For example, a ride from Delhi to Mumbai, which currently takes about a day, would be cut to just 80 minutes on a hyperloop.
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has been moving quickly on the development of what he calls “The Boring Company.” In January of last year, he presented a proposal at the Hyperloop Pod Competition for a company that would lighten traffic through the use of underground tunnels. One year later, Musk mentioned that construction of a tunnel could begin in Los Angeles by the end of February.
Musk hasn’t fallen short of his promise – his new boring machine began to dig a tunnel as part of a demonstration at SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition last weekend. Although the machine has only created a mere hole, his team plans to eventually construct a full-fledged tunnel.
Musk hasn’t been too clear about how the tunnel will function, but the Hyperloop could be involved – after, it is supposed to be able to work above or below ground. Musk has, at the very least, not denied the connection:
For those that are curious enough to see what Musks’ boring machine looks like, he released a photo of it on Twitter recently. This might be only one part of a massive machine without the cutting head attached.
Although tunneling machines already exist, Musk’s company would be unique because the machines would make tunneling faster, speeding up the digging process almost tenfold compared to conventional methods. If Musk’s boring machine can make tunneling quicker and easier, underground transit could also become more popular. Tunnels would be a solution to heavy traffic, especially in urban areas, as well as a potential way to bring transportation into buildings.
Musk isn’t exactly serious about creating a separate entity called “The Boring Company.” Thankfully, the project fits into Tesla’s mission to alleviate traffic which, in turn, will reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
His boring machine is also in line with SpaceX’s mission to eventually settle a colony on Mars. It could be used to test the viability of tunnel construction on the Red Planet, creating underground habitats that would protect people from extreme cold, low pressure, and high radiation.
Elon Musk’s Hyperloop is expected to be the next step forward in public transportation. The system propels passengers through a nearly airtight tube at speeds approaching that of air travel. Projects are currently in the works to bring the Hyperloop to Canada, Russia, Dubai, and now parts of Europe. The one in Dubai is expected to allow for travel between the city and the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi, a distance of over 125 km (nearly 78 miles), in just 12 minutes.
The Hyperloop holds a lot of promise for the future of transportation, but it turns out that the idea may not be as new as we think. Back in 1965, a comic strip illustrated a future train that looks eerily similar to the concept drawings of Musk’s system, proving, once again, that there are no new ideas under the sun.
Image Source: Novak Archive
Our New Age, Indeed
Athelstan Spilhaus started a comic strip called Our New Age as a response to the Russian launch of the Sputnik satellite into space. Spilhaus hoped to get children interested in the sciences while they were reading their Sunday comics. He described his motive as follows: “Rather than fight my own kids reading the funnies, which is a stupid thing to do, I decided to put something good into the comics, something that was more fun and that might give a little subliminal education.” He probably never intended on divining the future.
The strip’s description of the trains of the future contained some uncanny similarities to today’s Hyperloop, including calling it an “exotic wheel-less train” capable of “traveling at hundreds of miles an hour.” The design of the train even looks a lot like those of the Hyperloop.
We are constantly learning of new technology that has a basis in some form of science fiction. Increasingly, the pipe dreams of yesterday are becoming today’s possibilities. The beauty of science fiction is that it can serve as a beacon that those in the present can throw to illuminate a path to the future.
Recently, HTT launched a new deal with Slovakia and the Czech Republic to build a Hyperloop system that will connect Bratislava and Brno. It’s a first step toward the plan to connect all of Europe with a Hyperloop. A 3,000 square meter facility (roughly 38,000 sq ft) at Francazal Airport in Toulouse will act as the company’s base. Toulouse is at the very heart of the European aerospace industry, and is centrally located for manufacturing the Hyperloop trains to be used in the Central European line.
HTT, one of two companies actively working on these futuristic pods, recently announced a $108 million funding round, with the company raising $31 million in cash.
Futuristic and Super Fast
The Hyperloop is a train-like transportation system that uses specially designed pods or capsules to transport people and cargo. It combines magnetic levitation (maglev) technology with reduced-pressure tubes for a smoother and faster ride. The idea for a Hyperloop was first proposed by Elon Musk in 2013. Since then, a good number of people, institutions, and companies were quick to jump on the idea.
How fast could it go? Well, that really depends on which engineer you ask, but it’s believed that a Hyperloop could go as fast as 1,200km/h (800 mph). Designs show that it could also work either underground or aboveground. In fact, one of the Hyperloop plans in Dubai envisions a central hub that connects Hyperloops traveling on their cylinder tubes to the streets. On top of it being fast, a Hyperloop is also green, capable of running using solar energy.
From a sci-fi inspired concept in 2013, to a super-fast train that will someday connect all of Europe, it looks like the Hyperloop is becoming a reality.
As if building a transportation system that can get someone from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a little over half an hour isn’t challenging enough, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) now has their sights on connecting all of Europe via Hyperloop, beginning with the Czech Republic.
The company recently announced their partnership with Brno, Czech Republic to begin work on the first European Hyperloop. It will extend from the Czech Republic to Slovakia.
“This agreement marks the immediate exploration of the feasibility for a Hyperloop™ system for the city with a focus on connecting Brno and Bratislava, Slovakia, with which HTT already holds a development agreement, with a vision for also connecting Prague, the Czech capital,” HTT in a public statement.
Confident that the technology is sound, HTT’s next steps are focused on working with governments around the world to begin building the infrastructure necessary to implement Hyperloop globally.
“Hyperloop in Europe would cut distances substantially and network cities in unprecedented ways. A transportation system of this kind would redefine the concept of commuting and boost cross-border cooperation in Europe,” said Vazil Hudak, Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic last year.
It is critical for Hyperloop to be working directly with regulators at this stage of development, new rules and frameworks will need to be written as we begin building out systems in Slovakia, the Emirates and several other to come,” adds said HTT CEO, Dirk Ahlborn.
Fast AND Green
HTT is a company led by NASA and Boeing veterans who want to offer an efficient, green, and remarkably fast way to travel via the Hyperloop.
At its core, Hyperloop is a tube-based transportation system for inter and intra-city transport. With a drastic reduction of air in the tube, motion is achieved with nearly zero friction allowing passengers to safely accelerate to airplane speeds. This is all powered by a combination of alternative energy and energy conservation systems. We are building Hyperloop to produce as much or more energy than it uses.
Hyperloop One, a group backed by DP World Group of Dubai who just received $50 million in funding, and the California-based company Hyperloop Technologies Inc. (HTI), who intend to build a test track in North Las Vegas, are also working to create solar-powered, green hyperloop systems.
Whether or not Hyperloop be adopted as a viable and preferred mode of transportation isn’t certain. But, as the global population swells and climate change continues to be a growing threat, the need for a sustainable but efficient mass transit system is evident. Creating sustainable energy solutions is the only way to protect the planet and its inhabitants, and making Hyperloop a global system could be part of the solution.