Russian company Summa Group signed an accord this week with Los Angeles-based HyperloopOne to explore building a futuristic, high-speed transport system using Elon Musk’s Hyperloop technology in the capital city Moscow.
Summa Group is the industrial port logistics, engineering, and oil and gas conglomerate owned by Magomedov. While Hyperloop One, a US company aims to reinvent transportation to eliminate barriers of time and distance by using Hyperloop transport to move cargo and passengers immediately, safely, efficiently, and sustainably.
According to Shervin Pishevar, co-founder of Hyperloop One, “Hyperloop can improve life dramatically for the 16 million people in the greater Moscow area, cutting their commute to a fraction of what it is today,”.
A Hyperloop system involves the use of magnets to levitate pods inside an airless tube, creating an environment in which the floating pods could ship public and cargo at speeds of up to 750 mph (1,200 kph).
The longer term vision is to build a new Silk Road to transport cargo at ultra-high speeds between China and the Mediterranean Sea.
“Our longer term vision is to work with Russia to implement a transformative new Silk Road: a cargo Hyperloop that whisks freight containers from China to Europe in a day,” Pishevar said in a statement.
According to Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd, there is uncertainty around the cost to build a Hyperloop in Moscow, and the system would not essentially travel at its top speed in a metropolitan area like the Russian capital. Last month Lloyd said the company will build a system capable of transporting cargo by 2019 and passengers by 2021.
Summa Group and Hyperloop One signed a memorandum of understanding last week at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Shervin Pishevar during the forum and expressed his support for the project. The President’s backing though doesn’t mean public fund investments and tax breaks because it’s a private investment project, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Hyperloop was first proposed in 2013 by US Tech billionaire Elon Musk as an up-to-date, open-sourced concept. Tests began in the United States in May.
Presently there are no functioning Hyperloops in the world, and skeptics claim the thought of traveling at such high speeds in a sealed tube seems like a sci-fi dream – with many obstacles the designers will have to conquer, such as motion sickness.
Hyperloop feasibility studies are underway in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Dubai, the Port of Los Angeles, and the United Kingdom.