Interest in Hyperloop Transportation System Grows

12 April, 2017

The high-speed transportation system called Hyperloop is getting attention all over the world.

Last week, groups from the United States presented proposals for Hyperloop projects at a meeting in Washington D.C.

Hyperloop is the name for a transportation system that uses strong magnets to move containers inside tubes. The containers could move both people and goods.

The system is the idea of businessman Elon Musk, who created and owns the company SpaceX and the electric car maker Tesla.

He wrote a study in 2013 explaining why businesses should consider investing in the project. He said that Hyperloop could move people and goods faster than high-speed trains.

An image released by Tesla Motors, is a sketch of the Hyperloop capsule with passengers onboard.
An image released by Tesla Motors, is a sketch of the Hyperloop capsule with passengers onboard.

In the document, Musk wrote that a transportation system like Hyperloop would be good for travel between big cities less than 1500 kilometers apart.

Greater distances could be traveled more efficiently by fast airplanes.

Musk and others think the people-movers could reach speeds greater than 1,000 kilometers an hour. That would reduce a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco to less than one hour. It usually takes about six hours by car.

A company seeking to develop the transportation system is Hyperloop One. It is a separate company from SpaceX.

The company has a test track in the state of Nevada near Las Vegas.

Hyperloop One launched what it called a Global Challenge. It looked at proposals from over 2000 teams in over 100 countries. They all claimed to have the best place for Hyperloop One's first project.

Hyperloop One recently announced it had chosen 35 semifinalists. Eleven of them were from the United States.

Last week in Washington, D.C., Hyperloop One listened to presentations from the 11 U.S.-based semifinalists.

Groups from states including Massachusetts, Colorado, Missouri, California and Texas presented their proposals.

The shortest route links Boston, Massachusetts with Providence, Rhode Island. It is only about 100 kilometers, but it would reduce traffic in a busy part of the U.S. The trip would only take a few minutes.

The longest proposed route is over 1,700 kilometers. It would link Houston, Texas with Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Earlier this year, Hyperloop One went to India for a similar event. One of the proposed routes, known as Hyperloop India, would link Mumbai and Chennai. It could cover the distance of over 1,000 kilometers in less than an hour.

Another event is planned for April 27 in London. The remaining semifinalists will also show off their plans. Those include projects in Europe, Canada, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

Later this year, Hyperloop One will choose three finalists it will consider for the high-speed transit project.

Hyperloop One Vice President Nick Earle attended the event in Washington, D.C. According to a local radio station, he proposed that someday Hyperloop riders could go to dinner in a place 1,000 kilometers away and come home the same night.

Anthony Foxx was the U.S. Secretary of Transportation during the second term of Barack Obama's presidency. Foxx attended the event in Washington, D.C., and said it would be a good idea for organizations like Hyperloop One to prove that their system could work transporting goods before taking risks with people.

Hyperloop One also announced last November that it made a deal with Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, to study a link with Abu Dhabi.

During the announcement, Hyperloop One chief executive Rob Lloyd said "in the Emirates, we believe everything is possible."

I'm Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell adapted this story for Learning English based on reports from the Associated Press, WTOP and the Denver Post. Mario Ritter was the editor.

Do you think you will ever see a Hyperloop in your area? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.


Words in This Story

conceptn. an idea of what something is or how it works

efficientadj. capable of producing desired results without wasting materials, time, or energy

show off v. to make something noticeable

route – n. a way to get from one place to another