Only three routes around the world will ultimately be picked for development.

How would you like to go from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Houston, Texas in less than two hours without getting on an airplane? That’s 1,152 miles across the center of the United States, but since most people work and live in denser areas, how about Los Angeles to San Diego in 15 minutes, or Miami to Orlando in a half-hour? Those are three of 11 routes being proposed for the U.S. by Hyperloop One – perhaps the most colorful of startups building on Elon Musk’s idea of sending people and goods through tubes at near supersonic speeds.

The 11 routes were proposed by competing teams taking part in Hyperloop One’s Global Challenge. Of more than 2,600 participants in the contest, 11 teams in the U.S. presented routes that link 35 cities and cover over 2,800 miles. 24 additional teams from around the world are also part of the challenge; eventually that will be whittled down to 12 finalists of which three winners will be chosen.

What do these winners actually get? In short, the winners will be the locations where Hyperloop One will build its first super-duper transport tunnels. Rob Lloyd, Hyperloop One’s chief executive officer, says the company will have a team of 500 engineers, fabricators, scientists, and other employees ready to bring the technology to life by the end of the year.

 

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The technology of which he speaks includes creating a near vacuum in the transport tube, then propelling pods via magnets to speeds up to 700 miles per hour. It’s way more complicated than that obviously, but with very little resistance it would be an exceptionally efficient method of transportation, and the science behind it is sound. Equally sound are the concerns about safety, be it from terrorist attacks or plain-old Mother Nature. Imagine clipping along at a cool 600 mph on that LA to San Diego route when a 6.0 earthquake hits. Even minor damage at such speeds would almost certainly be disastrous.

Hyperloop One has also had more than its share of legal drama. Lawsuits and countersuits involving top executives rocked the startup last summer, with an undisclosed settlement finally being reached in November.

Still, the hyperloop could revolutionize transportation. Even if used primarily for transporting goods, that would free up all kinds of commerce traffic on highways. Smaller loops in busy metro areas like Atlanta or Chicago could take a big dent out of rush-hour traffic. Atlanta isn’t one of the cities served in the proposed routes, but Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Seattle, and Portland – as well as the cities mentioned previously – are among the semi-finalists.

Check the press release below for complete information on the proposed routes and distances.

Source: Hyperloop One

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Hyperloop One Unveils its Vision for America, Details 11 Routes as Part of Global Challenge

Company Announces Completion of Tube Installation at Las Vegas DevLoop, World's First Full-System Test Track

Routes Include: Boston-Somerset-Providence, Cheyenne-Houston, Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh, Denver-Colorado Springs, Denver-Vail, Kansas City-St. Louis, Los Angeles-San Diego, Miami-Orlando, Reno-Las Vegas, Seattle-Portland; and Dallas/Fort Worth-Austin-San Antonio-Houston

 

WASHINGTON, April 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Executives from Hyperloop One joined leading policymakers and transportation experts here today to reveal details of select Hyperloop routes in the United States and to initiate a nationwide conversation about the future of American transportation.

Of more than 2,600 participants in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge, 11 teams presented routes, linking 35 cities and covering more than 2,800 miles. They join 24 other teams from around the globe, each vying to be among 12 finalists. Three eventual winners will work closely with Hyperloop One engineering and business development teams to explore project development and financing.

"Hyperloop One is the only company in the world building an operational commercial Hyperloop system," said Rob Lloyd, chief executive officer of Hyperloop One. "This disruptive technology – conceived, developed and built in the U.S. – will move passengers and cargo faster, cleaner and more efficiently. It will transform transportation as we know it and create a more connected world."

Lloyd said that by year's end the company will have a team of 500 engineers, fabricators, scientists and other employees dedicated to bringing the technology to life. Hyperloop One, he said, will enable broad benefits across communities and markets, support sustainable manufacturing and supply chains, ease strain on existing infrastructure and improve the way millions live and work.

With Hyperloop One, passengers and cargo are loaded into a pod, and accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag. This week, the company finalized the tube installation on its 1640-foot-long DevLoop, located in the desert outside of Las Vegas; the facility serves as an outdoor lab for its proprietary levitation, propulsion, vacuum and control technologies.

"The U.S. has always been a global innovation vanguard – driving advancements in computing, communication and media to rail, automobiles and aeronautics," said Shervin Pishevar, executive chairman of Hyperloop One. "Now, with Hyperloop One, we are on the brink of the first great breakthrough in transportation technology of the 21st century, eliminating the barriers of time and distance and unlocking vast economic opportunities."

"Hyperloop One is the American Dream, and it's fast becoming an American reality," Pishevar said.

The Hyperloop One Global Challenge
The Hyperloop One Global Challenge kicked off in May 2016 as an open call to individuals, universities, companies and governments to develop comprehensive proposals for deploying Hyperloop One's transport technology in their region. Five of the proposals – including those from Texas, Florida, Colorado, Nevada and Missouri – involve officials from their state Departments of Transportation.

Proposed routes that would greatly reduce passenger and cargo transport times across some of the country's most heavily trafficked regions including Los Angeles-San Diego, Miami-Orlando and Seattle-Portland. The longest distance proposal, Cheyenne-Houston, would run 1,152 miles across four states, reducing to 1 hour and 45 minutes a journey that currently takes 17 hours by car or truck.

Hyperloop One's panel of experts in transportation, technology, economics and innovation are considering the following route proposals:

 

ROUTE NAME    

PROPOSING TEAM      

ROUTE LENGTH

Boston-Somerset-Providence     

Hyperloop Massachusetts                                        

64 mi

Cheyenne-Houston                 

Rocky Mountain Hyperloop Consortium                         

1152 mi

Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh     

Hyperloop Midwest                                                     

488 mi

Colorado Front Range/ Mtn. Network   

Rocky Mountain Hyperloop                                

360 mi

Colorado Front Range             

Colorado Hyperloop                                                     

242 mi

Kansas City-St. Louis               

Hyperloop Missouri                                                       

240 mi

Los Angeles-San Diego          

Hyperloop West                                                             

121 mi

Miami-Orlando                         

Hyperloop Florida                                                           

257 mi

Reno-Las Vegas                          

Hyperloop Nevada                                                      

454 mi

Seattle-Portland     

PNW Hyperloop                                                                              

173 mi

Texas Triangle                       

Hyperloop Texas                                                           

640 mi

The global challenge expert panel comprises: Peter Diamandis, Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation; Bassam Mansour, International Railway Industry Advisor and Director of Rail Systems at HSS Engineers; Clive Burrows, Group Engineering Director for FirstGroup; Ulla Tapaninen, Senior Specialist in Economic Development for the City of Helsinki and adjunct professor at University of Turku.

Vision for America Conference
In addition to new details on the U.S. routes, the D.C. event featured a roundtable of speakers discussing the future of transportation that included former Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx; KPMG Head of Infrastructure Andy Garbutt; MIT Professor Alan Berger; Vice President of Corporate Communications and Government Affairs of Amtrak, Caroline Decker; and former BNSF Railway Vice President of Network Strategy Dean Wise. Keynote remarks were delivered by Tyler Duvall, partner at McKinsey & Co. and former Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the US Dept. of Transportation.

"The U.S. is challenged to meet the growing demands on our transportation infrastructure, with congestion costing the economy more than $160 billion per year due to wasted time and fuel," said Tyler Duvall, a partner at McKinsey & Company. "However, new technologies are poised to drive efficiency, increase capacity, and help spur social and economic growth. To seize this opportunity, the approach to infrastructure planning must keep pace by integrating new technologies and taking long-term views of what mobility will look like in the future."