If the concept of Hyperloop had above all been imagined for humans, an American company wants to adapt it to high-speed freight transport.
After being on the front of the media scene for a few months, Elon Musk’s Hyperloop had been more discreet recently. This concept proposed by the father of SpaceX and Tesla in 2013, however, continues to progress, driven by the work of various companies exploring this controversial technology.
This is particularly the case with Hyperloop TT, an American company which has opened an R&D center at Toulouse Francazal aerodrome. Recently, the firm presented HyperPort, a freight transport concept “At a speed equivalent to that of the plane, but at the price of the train”.
The objective would be to use this technology originally designed for passengers to transport goods at high speed, environmentally friendly, without traffic congestion, and at a lower cost. On paper, this would increase the reliability and efficiency of transit while ensuring staff safety.
The manufacturer describes his product as a “Plug-n-play solution capable of transporting freight hundreds of kilometers in minutes.” Hyperloop TT even puts forward the figure of 2800, twenty-foot equivalent (or TEU, the unit of measure corresponding to the volume of a standard freight container) per day! This represents an impressive amount of goods; for comparison, a container ship can carry 500 to 3,000 TEUs!
Too good to be true ?
But the project may be very interesting on paper and the video presentation, nothing indicates when it will be possible to have a concrete technical demonstration. And for good reason: like many projects that work on this concept, Hyperloop TT remains particularly discreet when it comes to presenting tangible progresss. And in the absence of a proof of concept, not all the figures put forward by the company are very heavy.
Its teams, however, have promised to present a virtual reality demonstration and their plans for the future at the ITS Congress, to be held in Hamburg (Germany) in October. See you this fall to find out if Hyperloop TT really has a solid project in stock, or if it will also have to be classified among the many generic concepts with an uncertain future … which would certainly give grain to grind to the critics of this technology.