Study begins on first Hyperloop to cross US state lines
There are quite a few feasibility studies being carried out with regard to potential Hyperloop systems, but another announced today might be of interest to US folks that like the sound of subsonic ground travel, particularly those in Illinois and Ohio. Startup Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has signed an agreement with local authorities to start investigating an interstate system for the first time in the US, a tube that would link the cities of Cleveland and Chicago.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), along with Virgin Hyperloop One, is one of the bigger names in the Hyperloop game. The latter has a lot more tangible progress to show for its work, with a test track set up in the Nevada desert along with full-scale passenger pods and a 200-plus mph test run under its belt.
HTT has none of the above, but what it does have is a whole lot of agreements with governments around the world to study the feasibility of Hyperloop systems. These studies are already underway in Slovakia, Abu Dhabi, France, Indonesia, India and South Korea, but today's announcement is a first, in that it looks to establish a route across US state borders.
The agreement involves HTT, the Northern Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and has already identified a number of potential paths a Hyperloop could take between Cleveland and Chicago, a five-and-a-half-hour trip by car that could be cut to 30 minutes. HTT also bills it as the first real public-private partnership aiming to bring the Hyperloop to life in the US.
"Regulations are the ultimate barrier for Hyperloop implementation, and we are excited to build the first real public-private partnership to bring Hyperloop travel to the US," says Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of HTT. "With this agreement, we welcome innovative and industry-leading partners in both government and industry to our movement."
A fully functioning Hyperloop system would have levitating passenger and cargo pods shuttled through near-vacuum tubes at around 700 mph (1,126 km/h). As it stands, competitor Virgin Hyperloop One's 387 km/h (240 mph) run in December last year is the closest we've come to that, though it is making progress rather quickly.
You can check out HTT's latest promo video below.