Two Indian teams among Hyperloop One global challenge winners

New Delhi: Two teams from India are among the 10 winners for the Hyperloop One global challenge that identified new routes to be developed, using the technology which is aimed at transporting people and goods at super fast speeds.

The Indian teams selected for Hyperloop’s global challenge to use a low-pressure tube, in which magnetically levitated pod-like vehicles travel, are AECOM India for the 334km Bengaluru-Chennai route and Hyperloop India for the 1,102km Mumbai-Chennai route, Hyperloop One said in a statement on Thursday evening. The other teams are from the US, the UK, Mexico and Canada.

In 2012, Elon Musk revived an interest in pneumatic tube transportation system and named it hyperloop, a proposed mode of passenger and freight transportation that would propel a pod-like vehicle through a near-vacuum tube at greater-than-airline speed.

Given the opportunities that India offers, the Hyperloop play here is gaining traction with another firm, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. (HTT), last week signing a memorandum of understanding with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board for developing a 5-minute commute between the city centres of Vijayawada and Amravati.

The technology has not been commercially introduced anywhere globally. The Los Angeles-headquartered Hyperloop One in July tested a fully operational Hyperloop system in the Nevada desert on a 500-metre track with speeds reaching 310km per hour.

“Following a close assessment of the proposals by a panel of experts in infrastructure, technology and transportation, ten teams from five countries were chosen from among hundreds of applicants. Hyperloop One will commit meaningful business and engineering resources and work closely with each of the winning teams/routes to determine their commercial viability,” the statement said.

The winning routes connect 53 urban centres and nearly 150 million with a combined distance of 6,628km.

In an interview with Mint, company’s chief executive officer Rob Lloyd and senior vice-president global field operations Nick Earle had said that India is among the regions with the highest potential for the Hyperloop technology.

“Hyperloop One will now work closely with each winning team to validate and analyze their proposals further, and provide initial ridership forecasts, business case and preliminary technical analysis of the route and corridor, tailored to the needs of the individual route. Hyperloop One’s business and technical leaders will host in-country workshops with each team, and connect them with Hyperloop One’s global partner network to sharpen the feasibility and scope of the potential routes. Another 11 finalist teams will continue to develop their proposals with the support of Hyperloop One,” the statement added.