Hyperloop One to take on underwater transport
After successfully testing its supersonic speed transport tubes, which can reach up to 800mph (1,300kph), in May, the company is looking into an aquatic version that can be used to transport cargo from ships to newly created ports some 10 miles from land.
Hyperloop One hopes to move the shipping ports away from current locations and have ships dock at something similar to a “giant oil platform” where they will unload their cargo. This would then be transported via underwater Hyperloop tunnels to the shore.
According to Hyperloop One board member and X-Prize Foundation CEO Peter Diamandis, the company has been talking to port authorities around the world about the idea.
"Conceptually, I think one of the things that's interesting about the future is there's a lot of underutilized space underground," Diamandis told Business Insider. "And I think one of the areas the Hyperloop can become an expert in is tunneling technology in the future."
The company says moving ports offshore would also free up valuable real estate along the coast.
"Long Beach, near where I live, is a beautiful California coastline that is basically covered with ports or cargo containers and ships," Diamandis said. "Imagine if you could regain all of that coastline for parks and homes and beaches by taking the port and putting the port 10 miles off shore."
The LA startup is also considering using underwater tubes to transport people.
"Some of the more interesting proposals that have come in have been [about] going between Norway and Sweden — going through the waterways there," added Diamandis.