One of the leading contenders to build a high speed hyperloop transportation system has said it plans to operate the world’s ‘first full scale’ prototype in France by the end of the year.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) said the first set of tubes designed to move both people and freight had arrived at its research and development centre in Toulouse.
A full-scale passenger capsule, currently near completion in Spain, is scheduled for delivery to the facility this summer for assembly and integration.
The hyperloop concept sees passengers and cargo loaded into a pod and accelerated to high speeds through a low-pressure tube with ultra-low aerodynamic drag, resulting in low emissions and energy consumption.
HyperloopTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn said: ‘Hyperloop is more than just displays of rapid acceleration and more than just breaking speed records. The real opportunity is to create an efficient and safe system with an unparalleled passenger experience.'
Chairman Bibop Gresta said: ‘Building in full-scale means we’re committed to innovation in the long-term.
‘Hyperloop is no longer a concept, it has become a commercial industry.’
HyperloopTT said that with an interior diameter of 4 metres, its system is optimized both for passenger capsules and shipping containers. The first phase includes a closed 320 metre system that it said will be operational this year. A second full-scale system of 1 km ‘elevated by pylons at a height of 5.8 metres' will be completed in 2019.
The firm said both systems are fully upgradeable.
Last year, rival Hyperloop One (now Virgin Hyperloop One) announced that three UK routes were on a shortlist of candidates to host what it said would be the world’s first hyperloop, including a ‘North-South Connector’ that could bring journey times from London to Edinburgh of 50 minutes.
It said at that time it was the only company in the world to have built a fully functioning test track.