Technology

Virgin Hyperloop, AECOM, CDOT advances feasibility study

Posted on May 23, 2018

Hyperloop will complement existing forms of transportation and will integrate seamlessly with the transport ecosystem.
Photos courtesy Virgin Hyperloop One
Hyperloop will complement existing forms of transportation and will integrate seamlessly with the transport ecosystem.
Photos courtesy Virgin Hyperloop One
Virgin Hyperloop One, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and AECOM are advancing to the second half of the Rocky Mountain Hyperloop feasibility study. Late last year, CDOT and Virgin Hyperloop One, working with AECOM, kicked off the hyperloop study, which will examine the technological and economic feasibility of a hyperloop transportation system in Colorado, based on an initial concept presented to Virgin Hyperloop One by CDOT and AECOM in 2016.

"The partnership between Virgin Hyperloop One and CDOT is an exciting one" said Amy Ford, chief of advanced mobility for CDOT. "We have received some very positive feedback from interested Colorado stakeholders during and following our outreach event. To me it's apparent that Colorado citizens are interested in the safety and mobility benefits a hyperloop system could bring to Colorado."    

The study has developed an initial design concept for first hyperloop portal (station) located near the Denver International Airport at 72nd and Himalaya. The study will analyze multiple potential alignments to link this central point of connectivity across the Front Range, as well as the mountain resorts.

“Colorado has it all, from booming sectors in aerospace, technology and renewable energy to the Rockies’ natural splendor,” said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One. “With so many drawn to the state, hyperloop will enable efficient, fast, effortless connections that link Coloradans across city limits to work, live, and play.”

Hyperloop is a new ultra-high-speed mode of transportation that moves freight and people quickly, safely, on-demand and direct from origin to destination. Hyperloop will complement existing forms of transportation and will integrate seamlessly with the transport ecosystem. In a hyperloop, passengers or cargo pods accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag. Last year, Virgin Hyperloop One set a historic test speed record of nearly 240 miles per hour during its third phase of testing at DevLoop, the world’s first full-system hyperloop test site located in North Las Vegas.

The hyperloop will differ from other fixed guideway modes of transportation by offering on-demand solutions and no fixed schedule. Passengers will be able to depart as soon as they arrive. The system will be dynamic with the ability to deploy pods based on up-to-the-second data points that continually optimize departures and arrivals. The hyperloop portal will also integrate seamlessly with existing transportation modes like the RTD A line.

Virgin Hyperloop One, in partnership with AECOM, released an architectural rendering of the portal, located at the Denver International Airport, which features a public gathering plaza as well as subterranean, green-roof infrastructure that integrates into the landscape, and emerging smart city developments.

“Through our partnership with Virgin Hyperloop One and the Colorado Department of Transportation, we are defining the next generation of infrastructure and transportation systems to addresses the shifting way people and freight need to move,” said Travis Boone, an executive VP at AECOM. “The Rocky Mountain Hyperloop showcases how we imagine, partner, and innovate to help define mobility of the future.”

In addition to technical and economic aspects, the study will offer multiple opportunities for additional partners and stakeholders, such as local governments, businesses, and community groups to become part of this venture and to help make hyperloop a reality in Colorado.

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