'Hyperloop' transport system signs deal to identify routes in India

It says it could greatly reduce traffic congestion

'Hyperloop' transport system signs deal to identify routes in India

Image: Virgin Hyperloop One

A futuristic transport system has signed a deal to test routes in India.

Virgin Hyperloop One says it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Maharashtra to "conduct a preliminary study".

The US-based company is hoping to to identify potential routes and analyse the economic impact and technical viability of hyperloop transportation in the country.

The firm says it will work with partners in the region as well as the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA).

It says the PMRDA will "help navigate the regulatory requirements and support the report with data".

In a statement, Virgin Hyperloop One says says: "The preliminary study is intended to analyse the applicability and benefits of hyperloop technology, identify high priority routes within the state based on demand analysis and socio-economic benefits, and inform the government of Maharashtra in any future decision to progress to the full project stage."

An artist's rendering of a Hyperloop station in Dubai | Image: hyperloop-one.com

Virgin Hyperloop One is looking to improve economic competitiveness, reduce congestion and emissions, and provide people with greater social and economic mobility.

Apart from India, the company is working on projects in countries like the UAE, US, Canada, Finland, and the Netherlands.

The transport system, which is in the testing phase, intends to carry people or cargo in a pod through a low-pressure tunnel on a cushion of air.

Looking at the present traffic scenario in Mumbai, Virgin Hyperloop One claims it could see a travel time of just 14 minutes to go between Mumbai and the city of Pune - a journey that currently takes up to three hours by car.

It says it could also streamline airport connectivity, such as connecting Pune's Purandar Airport to the city centre or Navi Mumbai International Airport to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

According to India's Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, 65% of its freight is transported on road networks.