HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn announced that his company has reached an agreement with the Slovakian government. The plan is to set up the Hyperloop from Vienna, Austria, to Bratislava, Slovakia, and from Bratislava to Budapest, Hungary. These are three of the biggest cities in the area, and traffic between the three of them can be quite a drag. The company announced:
“Slovakia is a technological leader in the automotive, material science and energy industries, many of the areas that are integral to the Hyperloop system,” Ahlborn said in a press release. “With our project in Quay Valley, this agreement with Slovakia, and future developments with other regions of the world, HTT truly has become a global movement.”
“Hyperloop in Europe would cut distances substantially and network cities in unprecedented ways. A transportation system of this kind would redefine the concept of commuting and boost cross-border cooperation in Europe,” said Vazil Hudak, Slovakia’s economic minister, said in a statement. “The expansion of Hyperloop will lead to an increased demand for the creation of new innovation hubs, in Slovakia and all over Europe.”
The total costs for this project are somewhere between $200 million and $300 million, but if you consider that the project can transport 10 million people every year and the entire system is almost self-sustainable with solar panels, it’s really not that high of a cost.
This announcement got a fair amount of press when it came out, then everyone (including HTT) seems to have gone silent.
And there are some other things that make me nervous about the company:
* The specific word used was 'exploring' which covers a wide range of sins.
** Not actually a hyperloop since it scraps the biggest change that Musk made to the original Robert Goddard proposal.
*** It appears that only Slovakia has made a public statement.