Hyperloop insights from Virgin Hyperloop One’s CEO

Hyperloop pod.jpg

The recent Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas gave Virgin Hyperloop One the opportunity to promote its vision and potential of hyperloop technology. Quartz reported the company’s decision to partner up with the mapping software start-up, Here, to help its pods navigate between cities, called portals.

Quartz spoke with Virgin Hyperloop One’s Rob Lloyd after Futurism reported the company’s goal of building a functional hyperloop system by 2021, with construction starting in 2019. Lloyd said the company is set “to select the first one or two of those projects [submitted back in May 2016] that are ready to move ahead to construct and develop the hyperloop.”

The company had received 100 “viable submissions” from which Virgin Hyperloop One drafted a shortlist of 11 it deemed most viable. An engineering study had to be completed, leading the company to partner up with decision-makers in Texas and Colorado.

However, Lloyd said “the first project that we sign will be international.” This is consistent with an earlier report about how the project’s pilot will happen overseas.

In Colorado, an app will connect the hyperloop with local transportation centers such as the bus system. Establishing a seamless connection between intersecting stations means commuters hopping off the hyperloop can easily locate local transportation. Lloyd adds, “If we’re going to solve the [transportation] problem, you have to do it end-to-end.”

Beyond commuters, cargo transport is also a vision of potential hyperloop uses.  So these “portals” have to be built as close as possible to the bus station and other areas where commuters and cargo are expected. “If there was a portal in Las Vegas, that portal is going to be close to a convention center, or a casino, probably above or below ground,” Lloyd noted.

“Here and their data look at the multi-level mapping, which doesn’t give you a blue dot [similar to a guiding dot found in some GPS-based gadgets] to follow down the sidewalk, but could actually instruct you to the escalator, how to get out of a casino, and how to get a portal.”

Stay up-to-date with the latest commentary and insights on FreightTech and the impact to the markets by subscribing.