If you landed at this blog post, chances are you already know (and are following) the Hyperloop project. However, in the case that you have been detached from recent news sources, or generally M.I.A, following is a brief overview of what is happening in the world at the moment, and more specifically, the developing of the next generation of transportation.
What is Hyperloop? Essentially, this is a futuristic train with the aim of supplying us with a more efficient means of transport to get from point A to point B in a sustainably self-powering fashion. The pains solved through this proposal would be high-density traffic, unsafe public transport conditions, and high environmental impact among others.
So, who is the man behind the plan? Forward-thinking entrepreneur, Elon Musk envisioned Hyperloop as the next mode of transport – and for a good cause. However, like any other innovative idea in the process of heading to the market, the Hyperloop concept faces obstacles. And in order to anticipate customer needs and accelerate this process, Musk delegates different groups as a means of collaboration and crowdsourcing. One example of such company is known as Hyperloop One (not to be confused with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies).
Earlier this year on the 15th of May, Hyperloop One opened a Global Challenge to the public (on the left, you may see a picture representing the current engagement around the world). Looking forward to the Global Challenge’s timeline, you may see that on the first day of next year 12 finalists will be chosen and exactly two months after, the judges finally select the three winners who will play a part in the concept’s implementation into local communities.
However, according to most recent news, this United States company now faces a potential threat. One of the co-founders of Hyperloop One by the name of Brogan BamBrogan filed a lawsuit against the corporation, posing as a critical test as to the direction of their near-future.
Meanwhile, another American research company known as HTT (Hyperloop Transportation Technologies), continues to move forward in making Musk’s vision a reality through the use of crowdsourcing amongst the research community. In an interview with Dirk Ahlborn (CEO of HTT), he explains the motivations behind creating such a public-oriented competition:
“We are trying to work with the public completely in an open way, asking people to come up with ideas on how we can reduce the ticket price and to come up with a business model. We want to show how the interior of the capsule is going to look like and how it’s going to feel… We are a crowd-powered company”
With such an open-minded perspective along with an in-depth support based on community, the HTT initiative welcomes new innovative minds while at the same time exerts less in-house energy. On a more macroscopic note, the project is looking for support from national governments such as the developing nation of Slovakia to experiment with their prototype. HTT has already reached an agreement with Austria and Slovakia to build a Hyperloop between their capitals Vienna and Bratislava.
“Considering that we are such a small country, we have been able to come up with quite a few innovative products,” Deputy Economy Minister Rastislav Chovanec said in a phone interview. “The government wants the country to move in this direction.”
The collaboration between local and national level channels, exchanging resources and funding, seems like a promising approach for Elon Musk and Co. to bring their fancy service to life. Let us see how the story unfolds in the coming weeks…