Louis to Kansas City, finalist for Hyperloop One

Louis to Kansas City, finalist for Hyperloop One

While airplanes can already make sort of the national connections that the company is promising in a similar time frame, Hyperloop One focuses on the way that such travel could work on demand.

Today, executives from the Los Angeles-based startup Hyperloop One will gather in Washington, DC, to make two announcements: one is that its test track in the Nevada desert is finally complete and ready to host the first full-system test in the next few months; and the other is that Hyperloop One is eyeing less than a dozen regions in the U.S. as possible future locations for its ultrafast, futuristic transportation system. "This disruptive technology-conceived, developed and built in the US -will move passengers and cargo faster, cleaner and more efficiently". Hyperloop One, he said, will enable broad benefits across communities and markets, support sustainable manufacturing and supply chains, ease strain on existing infrastructure and improve the way millions live and work. The pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag.

Hyperloop One approaching readiness to test its tech with a system that resembles what a final version would look like is a huge step, which is why it's so interesting to see the teams from US states describe how the real thing might change economies and transportation. The company's chief technology officer BamBrogan abruptly quit and sued Hyperloop One last July, alleging that he was harassed by officials when he brought some internal concerns to light.

"We only have a certain bandwidth to build the hyperloop in North America", he said.

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He said the Los-Angles based start-up's transportation service could provide an experience comparable to a high-speed aircraft.

Vision for America ConferenceIn addition to new details on the USA routes, the D.C. event featured a roundtable of speakers discussing the future of transportation that included former Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx; KPMG Head of Infrastructure Andy Garbutt; MIT Professor Alan Berger; Vice President of Corporate Communications and Government Affairs of Amtrak, Caroline Decker; and former BNSF Railway Vice President of Network Strategy Dean Wise.

"The airplane was pie in the sky, and the vehicle was pie in the sky ... virtually every mode of transportation we enjoy today was at one point kind of a pie in the sky idea", Foxx said after the event.

Lloyd said if regulators are adversarial, the project won't work, so Hyperloop One will look for cooperative regulators. Proposed routes include Los Angeles to San Diego, Miami to Orlando, and Seattle to Portland.

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"What that shows is you are going to run into that issue no matter where you do a project like that in the United States", he said.

While they idea of cutting hours off a commute in podlike travel has captured the public's imagination, hyperloop technology is most likely to be employed first as a glorified - but very fast - freight train.

While the technology behind the proposed Texas hyperloop sounds like something that could end up being vaporware, Hyperloop One, in addition to detailing the 11 semi-finalist projects, also announced concrete progress Thursday.

"We believe cargo will come before people", Hughes said.

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