Following a competition that attracted 2,600 entries, U.S.-based Hyperloop One has selected 11 teams to compete, along with 24 previously selected groups, for three partner positions in the engineering and business development of transportation hyperloop projects.
The technology, according to Hyperloop One, involves loading passengers and cargo into a pod and accelerating the pod gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. 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 transportation is another idea from Tesla founder Elon Musk, who has his own startup, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, also working on a hyperloop system. The idea also has attracted the attention of President Donald Trump. In a meeting with executives last month, the president specifically asked for more information about the Hyperloop. Musk is a member of the president’s business advisory group.
In addition to the 11 projects selected for further scrutiny, Hyperloop One also announced the completion of its 1,640-foot full-scale testing facility in the desert near Las Vegas. The facility will be used to test and evaluate levitation, propulsion, vehicle control and vacuum pressurization technologies before a commercial project is launched.
The 11 route proposals being considered for further development are shown in the following table from Hyperloop.
Hyperloop One’s executive chairman, Shervin Pishevar, said:
The U.S. has always been a global innovation vanguard – driving advancements in computing, communication and media to rail, automobiles and aeronautics. Now, with Hyperloop One, we are on the brink of the first great breakthrough in transportation technology of the 21st century, eliminating the barriers of time and distance and unlocking vast economic opportunities.
Although Hyperloop One did not announce a timetable for selecting the winners, the company did say that it expects to have 500 engineers, fabricators, scientists and other employees on board by the end of the year.