HyperloopTT is one of the frontrunners working on making Hyperloop a reality. Since we did not get the opportunity to hear about their work at the webinar we hosted with other partners, we arranged a separate interview to discuss Hyperloop development and their approach as a company. From design factors to the effect of a pandemic on the industry, they provided many insights, and we’re excited to present their answers to our questions.
What are some of the deciding factors when designing a full-scale hyperloop system?
The key factors of designing a full-scale hyperloop system are safety, efficiency, sustainability and passenger experience. Since 2013, we have worked to identify and develop the regulations and technology necessary to create next-generation safe travel. Integrating technologies that support safe and efficient travel enables us to create a sustainable transportation system that meets today’s and tomorrow’s passengers’ needs.
Has COVID affected the design of the Hyperloop system? Has it brought up any new concerns, and what is the industry’s response?
COVID has not affected the design of our hyperloop system, but it has reinforced the role passenger health, wellness, and supporting technologies will play in system development. Our passenger experience and safety teams have been identifying and developing innovative approaches to passenger health since the early development stages. HyperloopTT’s diverse health and wellness technologies continue to be optimized on their original schedules but are now also expected to play a greater role in the public perception of transportation safety.
What are some measures HyperloopTT has put in place to ensure the safety of its passengers?
HyperloopTT and our partners have conducted extensive analysis of the safety requirements of commercial operations and are integrating key learnings into our system design to create a safer form of transportation. Our work in the field includes the publicly available TÜV SÜD guidelines, a licensable insurance framework for operations created with Munich Re and tangible hardware, including our recently unveiled full-scale isolation valves.
HyperloopTT is known for its development of certification guidelines for the commercialization of Hyperloop passenger systems. Could you expand on these guidelines and how this will affect Hyperloop regulations, standardization, and safety standards?
The certification guidelines for commercial systems released in partnership with TÜV SÜD serve as a starting point for the formalization of commercial hyperloop regulation. The comprehensive document includes sections addressing system design (capsule, stations, energy and power); organization, operation and maintenance; fire protection and evacuation; security concepts (physical and information security) and certification (qualification, implementation, certification and inspections).
The document provides a foundation for international and domestic regulatory agencies to assess the needs of safe hyperloop travel and operations. It also integrates existing standards from rail, aerospace, automotive and industrial applications and identifies new ones to be created specifically for Hyperloop.
There have been many advancements in Hyperloop technology over the past few years; when do you see the full-scaled Hyperloop system being implemented as a recognized mode of transportation?
The support for commercial hyperloop implementation is advancing every day. The industry’s resilient innovation over the past seven years has established credibility with traditional transportation players who are now becoming more active in system developments. The industry’s current momentum makes it a likelihood that commercial hyperloop systems will be deployed this decade.
What will be the impact of EHW on the Hyperloop community, in your opinion?
European Hyperloop Week offers the industry an opportunity to come together. While many outside spectators see hyperloop development as a race, the truth is that multiple key players developing different solutions make the industry stronger. EHW provides a forum for industry pioneers and the interested public to exchange ideas about the sustainable future we aim to build.