Hyperloop One thinks Europe could hold the key to the future of transport. The company is currently working to bring the hyperloop to life, a vacuum-sealed tube first proposed by Elon Musk that would whisk passengers great distances at speeds of up to 700 miles per hour. At a press conference in Amsterdam on Tuesday, Hyperloop One outlined its grand vision to connect Europe with a continent-wide hyperloop network.
“Hyperloop One is the only company in the world that has built a fully functioning hyperloop system test track,” said Hyperloop One co-founder and president of engineering Josh Giegel. “For the last two years, our team of nearly 200 engineers, technicians and fabricators developed our technology and transformed a stretch of desert in the U.S. into a working test track that proves we can build a hyperloop system anywhere in the world. We’re looking forward to showcasing our technology and believe that Europe is the perfect region for one of the world’s first Hyperloop systems.”
The company is currently hosting a global design challenge. The competition, announced in May 2016, saw 2,600 teams submit route designs they thought could benefit communities. That number was whittled down to 35 semifinalists in January, and the eventual winner — or winners — will receive a feasibility study, a crucial step toward bringing a project to life.
Of the 35 semifinalists, nine proposals were highlighted at Tuesday’s event. The nine routes were:
- Corsica-Sardinia (451 km)
- Estonia-Finland (90 km)
- Germany (1,991 km)
- Poland (415 km)
- Spain-Morocco (629 km)
- The Netherlands (428 km)
- UK-North-South Connector (666 km)
- UK-Northern Arc (545 km)
- UK-Scotland-Wales (1,060 km)
“Europe embraces new ideas in transportation like no other region in the world and is uniquely positioned to take the next great leap in transportation with Hyperloop One,” said Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and executive chairman of Hyperloop One. “Our vision is to, one day, connect all of Europe with our Hyperloop One system, networking the entire continent.”
The company’s overall goal is to have three systems in service by the year 2021. It’s unclear how much tickets will cost, but internal projections place the price at around €18 ($20.25) per ride for routes across mainland Finland and Sweden.
“For Europe, Hyperloop One technology is complementary to existing highways, rails, ports and overall infrastructure,” said Rob Lloyd, chief executive officer of Hyperloop One. “Hyperloop One will offer Europe’s transport grid with an option that is more efficient, greener, on-demand and faster. We’ve seen a lot of interest here, and we look forward to creating a partnership to enhance the continent’s transport infrastructure.”