Saturday, June 15, 2024

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies plans to connect all of Europe, starting with the Czech Republic | TechCrunch

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Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) may be a step behind its rival Hyperloop One but is making its own plans to go global — starting with an announcement today HTT has signed an agreement to explore connecting a hyperloop system from Slovakia to the Czech Republic.

HTT already has an agreement with the city of Bratislava, Slovakia to build a hyperloop there, but this new agreement will help the startup see if it makes sense to build a system connecting the 80 miles between Brno in the Czech Republic to Bratislava and then 140 miles south to the Czech capital Prague.

HTT also says it has an agreement with Abu Dhabi and has made some preliminary inquiries to possibly build in Melbourne, Australia.

Rendering of what the HTT system might look like in Brno, Czech Republic.

Both H1 and HTT have made strides to connect with government leaders around the world and are raising the funds and forging those relationships to build their individual systems. Much of those connections seem to center around the United Arab Emirates and Eastern Europe, where it is ostensibly easier to get approval for such a new and untested system without the government roadblocks that would go along with it in the United States.

HTT recently claimed to raise $100 million to get it up to speed — though a large majority of that was counted in in-kind investments such as volunteer labor and services from outside firms. The startup pulled in approximately $31 million in real cash.

Now the challenge is for each startup to try and get there first.

“Since we have solved all the technical issues, it is now crucial for us to collaborate with governments around the world,” HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn said in a statement. “It is critical for Hyperloop to be working directly with regulators at this stage of development, new rules and frameworks will need to be written as we begin building out systems in Slovakia, the Emirates and several others to come.”

The Czech agreement will take some time to both determine feasibility and to build such a system, but could theoretically relieve some of the strain on Brno’s train system, which is one of the oldest railway stations in the Czech Republic (and one of the first in the world), shuttling more than 50,000 passengers on a daily basis, according to Wikipedia.

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