The Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism, and Investment, Steven Ciobo has visited Hyperloop One at their headquarters in Los Angeles. The trip was reportedly to meet the team behind the project and learn more about hyperloop. This raises the question of why? Why would the Minister travel all that way to meet a team working on a futuristic transport technology, if not to try and sell Government on investing in the technology.
The company has been successful in raising multiple rounds of money to turn Elon Musk’s dream of delivery high-speed travel using a new, 5th mode of transport, a reality. Australia has one of the largest continents on the planet and traversing vast distances is a lengthy and often expensive proposition. For the multi-decade discussions about high-speed rail projects, they are technologically inferior to what is on offer with Hyperloop, so it makes a lot of sense Minister Ciobo is interesting.
I think it is noteworthy that it’s our tourism Minister, not our Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joice, who also holds the portfolio of Minister for Infrastructure and Transport or our Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Paul Fletcher that is most interested. Australia’s Tourism Industry is one of the country’s largest and enabling faster transport between our cities and major attractions would do wonders for the growth of that industry.
Tourism has become a vital component of Australia’s economic wellbeing.
Hyperloop could be implemented in a couple of different ways. The first is a series of above-ground vacuum-sealed tubes which propel pods (and their passengers) at up to 1,200km/hr. The second option is to leverage Elon Musk’s other pet project, The Boring Company and dig tunnels underground. Regardless of which approach is used, they both have the potential to solve our congestion problem. The speed on offer here could also change the way we structure our population. Right now a large majority of the population live in east-coast cities, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane with urban sprawl and long commute times a major issue. With the right kind of infrastructure (read: Hyperloop) its possible we can better distribute the population to regional cities and commute to work in the cities, thanks to the reduced commute times.
Dr Anita Sengupta is an Engineer, Pilot, Vice President, Professor, who works on Hyperloop and says there are also environmental opportunities with Hyperloop as well.
By 2021 Hyperloop One plans for the transport being a reality.
So my question is, when are we getting one in Australia Steve?