Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (Hyperloop TT) signed its first agreement with China to build a hyperloop system in the country’s technological development zone.
Hyperloop TT will cooperate with Tongren Transport Tourism Development Investment Group Co Lt in Guizhou, a province in southwest China, and home to Guiyang Technological Development Zone which is a crucial part of China’s “Silk Road Economic Belt” initiative.
This is Hyperloop TT’s twelfth agreement as well as the third commercial agreement in the world, following announcements in Abu Dhabi and Ukraine earlier this year.
Hyperloop TT will be providing technology, engineering expertise, and essential equipment, while the Tongren government will be responsible for certification, regulatory framework, and construction of the system. They will work together to design the route for the system. Financing will be done through a public private partnership with 50 percent of the funds coming directly from Tongren government.
“We envision that Hyperloop will play into a bigger role in the Silk Road Economic Belt, connecting the region to the rest of the world,” said Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of Hyperloop TT, “having worked alongside our government partners, Hyperloop has proven a viable solution for this immediate problem.”
China spends over $300 billion annually on infrastructure to address their rapidly growing urban populations, Ahlborn said, and the unique topography of Tongren offers great prospects to refine various construction methods through the partnership.
“Tongren has always been focused on sustainable development,” said Chen Shaorong, mayor of the city, “the signing of the Hyperloop project is a major step to open up inland development, an important achievement of the year, and an important project to enlarge and strengthen the local economy.”
Founded in 2013, Hyperloop TT is an innovative transportation and technology company focusing on building the Hyperloop system, a system that moves people and goods at unprecedented speeds with a fraction of the cost of airplanes.
The Hyperloop concept was first proposed by Elon Musk, founder of the aerospace company SpaceX and CEO of Tesla Inc., as he felt the California High-Speed Rail System of bullet trains currently under construction will be too slow. His Hyperloop consists of two massive tubes extending from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Pods carrying passengers would travel through the tubes at speeds topping out over 700 mph.
Hyperloop TT has a global team of over 800 engineers, and partnerships with 40 corporations and universities. Headquartered in Los Angeles, HyperloopTT’s five global offices are located in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Toulouse, Barcelona and Bratislava in Slovakia.