Four companies with more than $300 million in funding are competing to build the first Hyperloop transportation system. Virgin Hyperloop One formerly known as Hyperloop One, is an American transportation technology company that was formed in 2014, and reorganized and renamed in 2017, working to commercialize the high-speed technology concept called Hyperloop which is so potentially disruptive companies are scrambling to be a part of this investment. Billionaire Richard Branson, was an early believer and his Virgin Hyperloop One, a 650 mph magnetic levitating train (Maglev) announced this week that Jay Walder will start as the new CEO.
Jay Walder was the CEO and Chairman behind finance and capital projects for New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority—the country’s biggest transit agency. Walder also worked for Hong Kong’s high speed rail system, and then built up the company Motivate, (the largest bike share operator in the US) that was just purchased by Lyft over the summer.When asked why he chose Hyperloop as his next project Walder remarked, “Hyperloop could help us re-imagine the ways we build cities and satellite cities, and make travel incredibly simple.”
Hyper loop was the brain child of real life Tony Stark AKA “Iron man” Elon Musk. Musk changed space travel with SpaceX and Hyperloop (when completed) will do the same for earthbound travel by bringing airplane speeds to the ground. In August of 2013, Elon Musk casually released a 58-page proposal online with the unassuming title “Hyperloop Alpha.” The imagination of millennials was sparked and now Hyperloop transportation is one step closer to becoming a reality. In October the groundbreaking HyperloopTT’s capsule designed to carry passengers at 1000 kilometers per hour (620 mph) was unveiled and that sparked the imagination of investors!
The capsule, 105 feet (32 meters) long and weighing 5 tons, was shown in Spain and will be moved to Toulouse, France, for additional assembly before it’s used on one of the first commercial tracks. Musk’s proposed Hyperloop system would cover the distance between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 35 minutes. Currently Hyperloop systems are being planned in India, France, China, the USA and the United Arab Emirates!
Hyperloop One has also begun the design of a 500-kilometer transport system in Europe that will traverse both land and sea. According to a report by the Maritime Executive “Hyperloop One and FS Links signed a letter of intent with the City of Salo, Finland, early in 2018 to begin a detailed study of the first stage of the network: a 50-kilometer route west from Salo to the coastal city of Turku. A second stage of the proposal covers a 140-kilometer eastward extension from Salo to Central Helsinki and its airport.” A hyperloop connecting Pittsburgh, Columbus and Chicago would transform the movement of goods and people in the Midwest. Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh route is one of 10 worldwide that Virgin Hyperloop One is pursuing. An employee of an Atlanta’s based transportation Consulting firm was in attendance at a Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission public meeting and remarked “we need the average American to get off their collective asses bemoaning the past and see the future for what it is bright, if you have guts to embrace it! ” “We have the opportunity to transform those regions by connecting those economies — connecting the assets in those cities in new ways,” MORPC’s executive director, William Murdock, said in announcing a $2.5 million planning project called the Rapid-Speed Transportation Initiative.
NOACA, the metropolitan planning organization for five counties in the Cleveland area, intends to pursue its own feasibility study, a $1.2 million project funded by HyperloopTT, “The Great Lakes megaregion represents a $15 billion transportation market with tens of millions of tons of cargo and millions of passengers connecting to the cities within the region every year,” NOACA Executive Director Grace Gallucci said.
Robots are going to steal 75 million jobs by 2025 but companies like Hyperloop pulls from the regions massive pool of talent, feeding directly into lucrative jobs for Clevelanders. Hyperloop travel would get people from Cleveland to Chicago in just 25 minutes.