Hyperloop Transportation Technologies inks agreement to explore expansion into Europe
January 19, 2017
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, one of two prominent companies working to develop a high-speed transportation system using hyperloop tech, has signed an exploratory agreement with the city of Brno in the Czech Republic to explore the feasibility of an HTT system connecting Brno with Bratislava, Slovakia. Although HTT has previously made deals with regulators and government officials in other nations, such as the UAE, this marks the first agreement to connect two cities in different countries.
While this is surely an important step in the process of bringing HTT’s tech to reality, it appears the company is still far off from a functioning product—something many in the industry have been waiting years to see. The closest either HTT or competitor Hyperloop One have come to a demo was last year, when Hyperloop One accelerated a sled to 116 miles per hour in 1.1 seconds in the middle of the Nevada desert, purportedly using its proprietary tech.
Aside from the demo, most announcements from the companies have had an air of marketing hand-waving. HTT revealed about a month ago, for example, that it had surpassed $100 million in total investment. Taken at face value that figure seems impressive, but in reality, the company had secured just $31.8 million in cash investments, with the rest representative of man-hours, services and in-kind investments. That said, it's understandable that creating emerging tech takes time, and many will be waiting with bated breath for further developments.