In these days, Hyperloop One has closed a $85 million investment round, which means that the company’s funding is now $245 million.
That news brings the company’s valuation to more than $700 million. This funding comes after an announcement made by Hyperloop One and the Colorado Department of Transportation: two weeks ago, Hyperloop One announced that it had chosen 10 routes around the world that it will study as potential locations for a Hyperloop. One route was chosen for a headliner feasibility study that will be conducted with Colorado’s Department of Transportation (CDOT) and a multinational engineering firm called Aecom.
Commenting the investment round, Brent Callinicos, COO and CFO of Hyperloop One said in a statement:“The fact that we have made so much progress with governments around the world speaks to the transformative nature of Hyperloop One’s technology and the material transportation and societal benefits it unlocks.”
It was June 2014 when Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, Tesla Motors, cofounder of PayPal and OpenAI, founded a company named Hyperloop Technologies, now named Hyperloop One. This company has as main mission to deliver fast, direct, autonomous, sustainable transportation at scale, beginning with three production systems in service by 2021.
Its engineers, since that day, are working on a new prototype of passenger and freight transportation system, consisting, in practice, on a vacuum tube train, or vactrain: it is a magnetic levitation line using evacuated tubes, which will reduce air resistance, permitting trains to travel at high speeds up to 8,000 km/h.
Hyperloop One also launched Hyperloop One Global Challenge, a competition to find the best Hyperloop routes, that was accepted by more than 2,600 teams, with applications from governments, universities and private companies in more than 100 countries.
Reading on the Hyperloop One FAQ, we can find out interesting thigs.
“Where will the first Hyperloop get built? There are numerous opportunities both in and outside the U.S. We have constructed a full-system test development track, DevLoop, in the Nevada desert, combining the pod, tube, vacuum, levitation, propulsion, and braking. In May 2017, we successfully completed the first full system, self-powered Hyperloop test, which was the first time that anyone had integrated all of the components of a Hyperloop in a complete system at scale. We are conducting a series of additional tests and, and once we successfully validate our technology, we will progress toward building proof of operations facilities around the world to obtain international safety and certification standards. Our goal is to have three systems in service by 2021.
You’re talking about going over 1,000km/h (600 mph) inside a tube. Is Hyperloop safe? The Hyperloop is designed to be inherently safer and more reliable than maglev or high-speed rail. We have no at-grade crossings (by far the leading risk posed by trains), so there are no interactions with other forms of transport or wildlife. We are fully autonomous, so there is no driver related error. We are immune from most weather events. We will have multiple emergency braking techniques, triggering an immediate braking of the vehicle. Vehicles will have a full suite of life support systems, and we have the ability to re-pressurize the tube if needed. Safety is the number-one advantage that the Hyperloop system provides and in our design and engineering efforts it takes precedence above everything. We strive to surpass the safety of all existing transport systems. Additionally, we are building a dedicated safety team to work with authorities to define and implement best practice protocols.”
It is difficult to say, today, that Elon Musk is just a visioner. What we can say for sure is that he is betting on many technologies, and capitals are fastly believing in this man’s dreams.