The US Won't See Hyperloop First

Posted: Jan 17 2017, 3:18pm CST | by , in News | Technology News

The US Won't See Hyperloop First
Credit: Hyperloop

It isn't out of line to say that the United States has been failing when it comes to rail projects. While the railroad was one of the reasons the country prospered so quickly, it has quickly fallen into disrepair in favor of cars, airplanes, and other forms of public transportation.

Recode recently had a conversation with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in which he said that if he had more time, he would want to work on rail projects.

“Far too few communities are really taking aggressive steps,” Foxx said.

Still, in his 3.5 years on the job, he contended with a private competitor in the high-speed rail game: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who wanted to develop Hyperloop. Hyperloop is as tube-based travel system that, conceptually, can carry passengers and freight at 700 MPH.

Foxx said that the trouble would be using current railway regulations with Hyperloop because it “would be like putting a square peg in a round hole.”

“The technology, the science behind it, is very sound,” he said. “But it’s one of those examples of, the technology may be there before the government is.”

Sometimes you can use the same regulations, like the Department of Transportation is with autonomous cars. Hyperlook would require Congressional action before they could start making rules. This is one of the reasons why it is unlikely that the United States will see Hyperloop first.

“Getting the service is different than generating the ideas and generating the intellectual capital,” Foxx said. “We in the U.S., one of our greatest virtues and one of the biggest challenges for us, is that when new transportation technology is introduced, something like Hyperloop, [they] say ‘We want to be first.’ A lot of the time, we say, ‘We want to be safest.’ And I think that’s a good thing for us.”

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.




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