While there are hundreds of student engineering teams from around the world that are crafting prototype Hyperloop pods, there are also startups working to build fully fledged businesses on the back of the futuristic transport system. This contingent has just grown by one with the emergence of Arrivo, a new firm headed up by former SpaceX engineers.
At the helm of Arrivo is Brogan BamBrogan, whose face (and name) you may recall from his time at now-competitor Hyperloop One. BamBrogan was a co-founder and CTO at Hyperloop One and also served as a senior engineer at SpaceX for a decade. BamBrogan and Hyperloop One parted ways in a less-than-amicable legal battle, but the mechanical engineer remains welded to the idea of sending people and cargo through vacuum-sealed tubes at the speed of sound.
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Among those following him to Arrivo are co-founders Nima Bahrami, Knut Sauer, William Mulholland, David Pendergast, who were all a part of the Hyperloop One team. Another of the co-founders is former SpaceX senior engineer Jadon Smith, so BamBrogan has got plenty of expertise at his disposal. The significance of the name Arrivo, which is Italian for arrival, lies in the company's objective of delivering a seamless travel experience.
"Why travel when you can arrive?" asks BamBrogan, (we're not sure what he means by this, but hey, the guy spent a decade firing rockets into space so maybe he knows something we don't).
The company plans to have a 30-strong engineering team in place by June, and 70 to 80 staff by the end of 2017. It also has plans to establish two test sites, one of which will be in the US, and have revenue-generating projects in operation within three years.
Along with Hyperloop One, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is another startup working to make the transport system a reality. These both run independently to the Hyperloop pod competitions held by SpaceX, whose CEO Elon Musk first dreamt up the idea a few years ago.
If all this seems confusing, it's because nobody owns Hyperloop, in the same way that nobody owns the concept of highways, railways or subways. So in this sense, and in the race to get what Musk calls a "fifth mode of transportation" up and running, the more competition the better.