(Source: arstechnica.com)

  • Hyperloop One

  • Hyperloop One

  • Hyperloop One

  • Hyperloop One

  • Hyperloop One

  • Hyperloop One

  • Hyperloop One

  • Hyperloop One

  • Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One, a startup that’s working on building high-speed, low-pressure, tube-based rail transportation, announced Thursday morning that it had chosen 10 routes around the world that it will study as potential locations for a Hyperloop. The startup solicited route ideas back in May as part of what it called the “Hyperloop One Global Challenge.”

One route, however, was chosen for a headliner feasibility study that will be conducted with Colorado’s Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Aecom, a multinational engineering firm: Pueblo-Denver-Cheyenne. Hyperloop One says that route would span 360 miles and be accessible to about 4.8 million people. (This reporter lives in Denver and has been stuck in enough I-25 traffic that she would love to see an alternative for that artery up the Front Range, no matter how far-fetched.)

The project is noteworthy in that it has the support of the state’s transportation agency. But conducting a feasibility study and actually building a Hyperloop are two different things. As California’s high-speed rail plan has shown, major rail infrastructure projects are prime locations for political quicksand. Hyperloop One is also still in the preliminary phases of making this mode of transportation a reality, too. It only recently sent a prototype pod through its test track in Nevada. The pod was propelled with an electric motor and achieved a top speed of 192mph—quite a bit slower than the 760mph that Hyperloop popularizer Elon Musk pitched back in 2013. (Hyperloop One’s system also uses magnetic levitation instead of the air bearings that Musk suggested.)

Still, Hyperloop One remains one of the most active Hyperloop startups on the scene, despite some bizarre workplace dramas last year.

Some have suggested that Hyperloop systems could be used for freight rather than people moving, too. In Hyperloop One’s press release, the company noted that the public-private partnership with CDOT and Aecom would examine “transportation demand, economic benefits, proposed routes and potential strategies, regulatory environments, and alignment with overall CDOT high-speed travel, rail, and freight plans.”

Other routes will also be studied by Hyperloop One, the company said. It promised to “commit meaningful business and engineering resources and work closely with each of the winning teams/routes to determine their commercial viability.”

Those other routes include Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh, a region which has a population of about 13.8 million people; Dallas-Laredo-Houston, which is populated by 18.7 million; and Miami-Orlando, home to about 8.5 million.

Outside of the US, winning routes included Bengaluru-Chennai in India, connecting 17.7 million; Mumbai-Chennai, also in India, which has a staggering population of 43 million. Edinburgh-London and Glasgow-Liverpool in the UK, Mexico City-Guadalajara in Mexico, and Toronto-Montreal in Canada also found top spots in Hyperloop One’s list of proposed projects.

More Info: arstechnica.com

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