SAN FRANCISCO : US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) on Thursday announced that it will start building the first of two test tracks at its facility in Toulouse, France. Hyperloop, an idea from Tesla CEO and SpaceX Founder Elon Musk, envisions a transportation system which proposes to propel a pod-like vehicle through a near-vacuum tube at nearly 1,100 km per hour and above.
The first phase includes a closed 320-meter system that will be operational this year.
In addition, a second full-scale system of 1 km elevated by pylons at a height of 5.8 meters will be completed in 2019.
"Five years ago we set out to solve transportation's most pressing problems; efficiency, comfort and speed. Today, we take an important step forward to begin to achieve that goal," said HyperloopTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn.
Both systems are fully upgradeable and will be utilised by both HyperloopTT and partner companies.
"We have pioneered the technology, proved feasible and insurable by the world's largest reinsurance company, Munich RE. We have agreements in place in nine countries where we're working on feasibility and regulations," said Bibop Gresta, HyperloopTT Chairman.
HyperloopTT has signed agreements in the US, India, Slovakia, Abu Dhabi, the Czech Republic, France, Indonesia, Brazil and Korea.
India's first Hyperloop transportation facility is likely to be introduced in Andhra Pradesh, connecting Vijayawada with upcoming state capital Amaravati.
The state government is currently studying the feasibility of the project and if introduced, the 40 km distance between the two cities can be covered in just six minutes.
If the Hyperloop line is completed, people can travel from Bengaluru to Chennai in 20 minutes. The 1,102 km Mumbai to Chennai via Bengaluru line will cover the distance in 50 minutes.
HTT has a research centre for freight and logistics in Brazil and a facility in Toulouse where it will deliver the first full-scale passenger capsule.
"Hyperloop is no longer a concept; it has become a commercial industry," Gresta added.