Hyperloop One is an L.A. -based company holding a global challenge, pitting regions against one another to compete for development opportunities.
Executives from Hyperloop One joined leading policymakers and transportation experts in Washinton, DC on Thursday to reveal details of select Hyperloop routes in the United States and to initiate a nationwide conversation about the future of American transportation. This disruptive technology - conceived, developed and built in the USA - will move passengers and cargo faster, cleaner and more efficiently. Hyperloop One's main rival, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, has plans to build hyperloops in a half-dozen countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Moreover, due to the speed it promises a Hyperloop system would also drastically change the way cargo is handled at local ports, on regional railways, and on interstate highways, he said.
Kansas City is one of 38 semifinalists in the company's Hyperloop Global Challenge.
But one of the main companies involved in making that idea reality-Hyperloop One-announced its vision for the USA and detailed 11 proposed routes on Wednesday.
Hyperloop One, the Los Angeles-based startup that Lloyd runs, on Thursday named 11 US semi-finalists to compete for the chance to build the innovative transportation system first envisioned in a 2013 white paper written by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
"Hyperloop One is the only company in the world building an operational commercial Hyperloop system", says Chief Executive Officer Rob Lloyd.
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"We only have a certain bandwidth to build the hyperloop in North America", he said. Instead, that route would be left to the proposed high-speed rail line between the cities, which has faced an uphill regulatory battle as rural communities have fought back against the line going through their towns. The company still has to build its first Hyperloop transportation pod.
Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the idea may seem out there now, but every mode of transportation was once just a dream.
Lloyd said if regulators are adversarial, the project won't work, so Hyperloop One will look for cooperative regulators. Some of these routes, such as Los Angeles-San Diego, Miami-Orlando, and Seattle-Portland, are looking to cut down on costs and freight delivery time.
It doesn't mean that those 3 routes will get a hyperloop system, but their chances will be significantly higher.
"We believe cargo will come before people", Hughes said.
The company plans to have a team of 500 engineers, fabricators, scientists, and other employees working on its technology by the end of the year.