The rise and fall of Hyperloop One slyly impersonated the company’s motto – high-speed freight transportation. The company that gained attention for completing the world’s first passenger ride on a super high-speed levitating pod system in 2020, is set to shut down after failing to secure any contracts for the development of a working hyperloop, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The Los Angeles-based firm’s claim to fame was its ideology to revolutionize freight transportation with its cutting-edge hyperloop technology, utilizing magnetic levitation to enable near-silent travel at unprecedented speeds. Despite achieving a significant milestone with the successful passenger ride in 2020, the company struggled to translate its technological achievements into tangible projects.
As part of the shutdown, Hyperloop One will liquidate its remaining assets. The closure will also result in the termination of employment for its remaining staff, scheduled to take effect by December 31 of this year.
The company, with the hyperloop concept, promised to drastically reduce travel times – twice as fast as a commercial jet flight and four times faster than a high-speed train. It used a transportation system that propels pods through giant vacuum tubes at incredibly high speeds.
Hyperloop One, established in 2014, raised over $400 million in funding, with significant investments coming from United Arab Emirates shipping company DP World and British billionaire Richard Branson. Despite the substantial financial backing, the company faced challenges in turning its ambitious vision into commercially viable projects.
The closure of Hyperloop One raises questions about the future of hyperloop technology for freight transportation. While this setback may mark the end of Hyperloop One, the broader concept of hyperloop transportation, with its potential for high-speed, efficient cargo movement, remains an area of interest for innovators and investors seeking to transform the future of logistics.