Hyperloop One, the California-based startup looking to bring an ultra high-speed, futuristic transport system (which will run at speeds of airplanes of 1,100 kmph) to the world, on Tuesday said that India could have one of its first few routes that go live across the world.
“With government support, one-two routes could be one of the first (to go live) in the world in India,” Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd said in New Delhi on Tuesday. He added that the company is considering opening offices in India. He said the team would decide the locations and that the timeline could be “sometime very soon”.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu and NITI Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant were also present at the event.
“With government support, one-two routes could be one of the first (to go live) in the world in India” — Rob Lloyd, Hyperloop One CEO
“Happy to facilitate, happy to work in partnership with you (Hyperloop)… Anything we can do to accelerate the work here we will be happy to do,” Kant said.
Prabhu said that the government would watch Hyperloop One’s progress in the country “very closely”.
However, as far as manufacturing in India for Hyperloop is concerned, Llyod said challenges around logistics in the country need to be overcome before the company can consider “Make in India”.
“Happy to facilitate, happy to work in partnership with you (Hyperloop)… Anything we can do to accelerate the work here we will be happy to do” — Amitabh Kant, NITI Ayog CEO
The first phase of a prototype for Hyperloop will be unveiled in Nevada, US, this year before summer, the company said.
Hyperloop earlier conducted a Global Challenge to select where it should come first. It received 130 requests from India.
Hyperloop is a new transportation technology that uses a pod through a near-vacuum tube to move objects and people from one place to the other. It currently costs about $40 million per kilometer. Hyperloop, which can move passengers at airline speeds, will take about four years from the date of approval to move the first passenger.
Earlier, Hyperloop One’s competitor, Hyperloop Transport Technologies (HTT), announced that hyperloop trials would soon begin in India. In fact, Bibop G Gresta, chairman and Chief Bibop Officer of HTT had met met Prime Minster Modi and transportation minister Nitin Gadkari.
Updated on February 28, 2017 at 4.42pm to correct the speed of airplanes from 11,000 kmph to 1,100 kmph. The error is regretted.
Updated on February 28, 2017 at 5.01pm to add Rob Lloyd's comment that Hyperloop One is looking to open offices in India.