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Joint Venture Breathes New Life Into Hyperloop Concept

The hyperloop prototype could connect a 20-mile stretch.

With the end of 2023 came the demise of Hyperloop One and, for some, the end of the futuristic tech's potential to disrupt commercial high-speed travel. However, many players remain in the game, including Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT).

Founded in 2013, the Los Angeles, California-based company is a global team of more than 800 engineers and technologists spread across 52 multidisciplinary teams, with 50 corporate and university partners. HyperloopTT uses a collaboration-based model, which enables it to work with talent and organizations around the world in exchange for stock options. CEO Andrés de León believes the strategy has helped quickly establish inroads with leaders in the industry and government as well as reduce costs as part of a long term approach to bring hyperloop to life.

This week, the company announced a new joint venture that could lead to the world’s first operational commercial hyperloop system in Italy.

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HyperloopTT is the designated technology provider in the venture, known as Hyper Builders, with a pair of Italian industrial companies: Webuild, the project lead and the largest Italian engineering and general contractor group, and Leonardo, one of the world’s largest multinational companies specializing in aerospace, defense and security. HyperloopTT teamed up with Webuild and Leonardo because they thought it would strengthen their credibility with the Italian government. 

HyperloopTT will lead the design work and implementation of its patented technology to design and build the system. RINA, a firm that builds businesses in transport and infrastructure is also part of the joint venture.

In May 2023, Hyper Builders found out that its bid for a tender issued by Italy’s regional highway operator, the Venetian Motorway Concession (CAV) had won. The project, which is budgeted at €800 million euros ($865 million), calls for a hyperloop prototype a little more than 20 miles long from Padua Province to Mestre, Venice. 

Following phase one, which includes a feasibility and environmental study, the tender includes two other phases: a detailed design and engineering phase and a final phase for construction, testing and certification. The system will then be expandable to fully connect the cities.

HyperloopTT believes the Hyper Transfer project could reduce heavy traffic, decrease traditional transport times and energy consumption, improve road safety, and enhance the interconnections between transport systems and cities in the local area.

HyperloopTT CEO says "this is the moment HyperloopTT has been working towards since 2013." He hopes this can be the first of many hyperloop systems around the world. Let’s hope it goes better for HyperloopTT, than it did for Hyperloop One.

The contract's duration is six years and De León says the company plans to have a fully functional system up and running prior to the end of the deal.

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