What if you could get to downtown Raleigh from Durham in less than ten minutes? In a matter of years, thanks to hyperloop technology, it could be possible. This was the subject up for discussion this morning as the Regional Transportation Alliance hosted their annual breakfast for the Triangle’s business community.
Ryan Kelly of Virgin Hyperloop One presented the company’s groundbreaking technology. Commuters and cargo can travel inside depressurized pods designed to go up to 670 miles per hour (currently, a model has achieved top speeds of 240 mph). Its many benefits include energy efficiency, limited noise pollution, and it would enable travelers to commute from Raleigh to Washington, D.C. in about half an hour.
“North Carolina’s Research Triangle region—home to some of the country’s top companies, universities and healthcare centers—is an absolute prime location to examine hyperloop technology,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One, in a statement.
Engineers from AECOM were also present, and shared the results of a pre-feasibility analysis that confirmed North Carolina’s RTP area would be an ideal location for hyperloop connectivity. “North Carolina was first in flight,” noted RTA’s executive director, Joe Milazzo II. “Will we also be first in hyperloop?”
“New and emerging technologies will change our relationship with transportation,” said David Howard, chief deputy secretary for the N.C. Department of Transportation. He sees transit technology like Virgin Hyperloop One as an important opportunity to better connect North Carolinians to other parts of the country. “It’s imperative we stay abreast of these technologies,” he said.
Scott Levitan, president and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation, echoed this sentiment, and encouraged fellow business leaders to strongly consider the positive impact an investment in hyperloop technology could have in North Carolina’s future.