FutureStructure

Hyperloop One Considers Texas Route from Dallas to Austin

L.A. based company Hyperloop One wants to create quick rides in low-pressure tubes, one of the routes might be in Dallas.

by Melissa Repko, The Dallas Morning News / September 18, 2017
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(TNS) -- Dallas has one more mode of futuristic transportation to dream about, along with bullet trains and flying Uber cars. It's made the short list for Hyperloop One, a Los Angeles-based company that wants to replace long flights and road trips with a quick ride through a low-pressure tube.

The Texas route is one of 10 routes that the company is considering, according to a Thursday news release. It would cover about 640 miles and connect Dallas-Fort Worth to Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Laredo.

Hyperloop One launched a contest in May 2016, asking individuals, universities, companies and governments to submit proposals for routes in their region. The company narrowed the field from hundreds of applicants to 10 teams. It will now start researching the commercial viability of the possible routes and look at factors like economic benefits, regulatory environments and passenger demand, according to the news release.

If the Texas route ever becomes reality, it'd take just 19 minutes to travel from Dallas to Austin, according to Hyperloop One.

The Texas proposal -- dubbed the Texas Triangle -- was submitted by engineering firm AECOM with support from the North Central Texas Council of Governments, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Austin Capital Metro, City of Dallas, Houston-Galveston Area Council, the Port Authority of Houston, Public Works and the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.

Hyperloop One is building a new transportation technology that would use levitating pods to shuttle people as fast as 700 mph through low-pressure tubes by propulsion of electric motors. And the company says they'd like to keep the price as low as a bus ticket.

The company was founded in 2014. Since then, it's built a track near Las Vegas and started testing. Company leaders say they'd like to have three systems in operation by 2021.

Steven Duong, a senior urban designer in AECOM's Dallas office who is leading the Hyperloop Texas team, told the Dallas Morning News in April that Texas would be ideal for the project because the state's large number of commuters, relatively flat landscape and problems with traffic congestion. He said the Hyperloop would do for transportation what broadband did for communications.

Hyperloop One is one of many companies trying to to turn the concept into reality. The idea of the Hyperloop has been championed by tech billionaire Elon Musk, known for his focus on futuristic innovations like Tesla's electric cars and SpaceX's private space travel.

Uber is working on its own imaginative transportation approach. It's chosen Dallas and Dubai to test its concept for ride-hailing through the skies. But just like the Hyperloop, it may be awhile before we see those flying taxis or lightening-fast travel tubes.

Here's the list of the 10 contenders:

  • U.S.
  • Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh, 488 miles
  • Dallas-Laredo-Houston, 640 miles
  • Cheyenne-Denver-Pueblo, 360 miles
  • Miami-Orlando, 257 miles
  • India
  • Bengaluru-Chennai, 208 miles
  • Mumbai-Chennai, 685 miles
  • United Kingdom
  • Edinburgh-London, 414 miles
  • Glasgow-Liverpool, 339 miles
  • Mexico
  • Mexico City-Guadalajara, 330 miles
  • Canada
  • Toronto-Montreal, 400 miles

Source: Hyperloop One

©2017 The Dallas Morning News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.