The state of Colorado is in talks with Virgin Hyperloop One to build a hyperloop transportation system, but its Department of Transportation (DOT) doesn’t seem content with exploring just one form of advanced transportation. This week the E-470 Public Highway Authority, Colorado’s DOT, and transportation company Arrivo announced a new partnership with plans to construct a hyperloop-inspired network in the city of Denver.
We say “hyperloop-inspired” because Arrivo’s design plans incorporate aspects of a hyperloop in addition to an underground electromagnetic highway. Arrivo’s highway won’t be underground, but they intend to use the network to transport cargo containers and provide passenger shuttles, rather than just supporting cars — similar to the idea behind Elon Musk’s Boring Company tunnels.
“Everyone is a winner with our technology. Passengers and cargo arrive quickly and efficiently at extremely low cost,” said Arrivo co-founder said Brogan BamBrogan in a statement. “Arrivo will end traffic and future-proof regional mobility. Now that’s a big win.” BamBrogen is a former SpaceX engineer and one of the founders of Virgin Hyperloop One.
Arrivo explains their transportation system utilizes magnetic levitation to lift vehicles and cargo, while electric power is used to move them forward, which is similar to Musk’s concept. The end goal is to connect every part of Denver, allowing citizens to get to any part of the city “in less than 20 minutes.” Arrivo’s transportation pods will max out at 321 kph (200 mph), which the company believes will help cut the trip from the Denver International Airport to Downtown Denver down from 1 hour and 10 minutes to a mere 9 minutes.
The first commercial route of Arrivo’s system is expected to be completed within 4-5 years. As for now, Arrivo and the Colorado DOT will conduct a feasibility study, assess how much it will cost, get an idea of what technology will be required, and other considerations taking into account legality and scheduling. They also plan to construct of the test site and track, both of which will be located near Denver’s E-470 toll road.
“We are reaching max roads in many cases in Colorado,” explained Colorado DOT executive director Shailen Bhatt. “Arrivo has a unique and practical approach to implementing hyperloop technology to eliminate traffic and dramatically improve the way people and goods move around the city.”
Arrivo’s impact on the state doesn’t end there. As the company’s test site is planned for Denver, it has pledged to employ 200 people by 2020 and will also invest $10 to $15 million in both the transportation project and Denver’s economy in 2018.
“Colorado’s rapidly growing population and booming economy makes for the ideal location for the development of an Arrivo system,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “[Arrivo’s investment] is a testament to the culture of innovation that drives our economic engine.”