Proposed Slovakian Hyperloop could go from Bratislava to Budapest in 10 minutes

hyperloop transportation technologies to build track in slovakia htt1
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies — one of the companies focused on manufacturing a working Hyperloop system — announced this week it’s signed a formal agreement with Slovakia to bring Elon Musk’s “fifth mode of transport” to the small European country. Though it may look like a particularly odd partnership on its face, HTT’s contract with Slovakia figures to allow the company to dodge many of the bureaucratic hurdles native to similar projects in the United States. Likely due to this fact, the company partnered with the Slovakian government to take the Hyperloop concept global.

HTT’s proposed Slovakian Hyperloop project would connect three European cities in Vienna, Austria, Bratislava, Slovakia, and Budapest, Hungary. All told, the longest distance between any of the desired locations would be no more than 125 miles (Bratislava to Budapest) with a route like Vienna to Bratislava only clocking in at roughly 50 miles by transport. Compared to the 380 some miles required for a San Francisco to Los Angeles Hyperloop, Slovakia’s is entirely within the scope of supposed Hyperloop technology.

Artist rendition of the Hyperloop system
Artist rendition of the Hyperloop system Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

“Slovakia is a technological leader in the automotive, material science, and energy industries, many of the areas that are integral to the Hyperloop system,” said HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn in a statement. “Having a European Hyperloop presence will incentivize collaboration and innovation within Slovakia and throughout Europe.”

If a functioning Hyperloop system does get up and running in Slovakia, commute times between each of the three cities stands to revolutionize the way people would travel in the region. For instance, the trip between Bratislava and Budapest would take passengers roughly 10 minutes to complete at 760 miles per hour (HTT’s proposed top speed of its pods). Moreover, traveling from Bratislava to Vienna would only take around eight minutes at similar speeds — a trip that would take just shy of an hour otherwise.

Artist rendition of the Hyperloop system
Artist rendition of the Hyperloop system Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

It is worth noting that while an agreement has been signed, nothing is definite regarding actual construction and (in the future) operation of a Hyperloop track. Aside from the fact only Slovakia has signed with HTT at the moment — it remains to be seen if Hungary or Austria maintain the same willingness for such a project — proposal and funding stages still need to be successful for the plan to see the light of day.

In addition to having an eye on Slovakia, HTT is currently awaiting word on a recently submitted construction permit allowing it to break ground in Quay Valley, California. If approved, the company intends to begin building a five-mile Hyperloop test track alongside the I-5 freeway. Assuming everything goes according to plan (does it ever, though?), HTT plans to have a fully operational, passenger-ready Hyperloop system up and running by 2018.


Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.

Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Emerging Tech

The enormous ‘Flying Bum’ moves toward a commercial design

A prototype of the world's largest aircraft is being retired as the company behind it prepares to build a production model. The new Airlander 10, also known as the "Flying Bum," could be ready for commercial use by 2025.
Emerging Tech

Fears about kids’ screen use may have been overblown, Oxford researchers find

Many people take it as gospel that digital technologies are harmful to young people’s mental health. But is this true? A recent study from the University of Oxford takes a closer look.
Emerging Tech

Meet Wiliot, a battery-less Bluetooth chip that pulls power from thin air

A tiny chip from a semiconductor company called Wiliot could harvest energy out of thin air, the company claims. No battery needed. The paper-thin device pulls power from ambient radio frequencies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cell signals.
Emerging Tech

Hexbot is a modular robot arm that does everything from drawing to playing chess

Who wouldn’t want their own personal robot arm to do everything from laser engraving to competing against you in a game of chess? That's what Hexbot, a new modular robot, promises to deliver.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Emerging Tech

Scientists successfully grow human blood vessels in a Petri dish

Researchers have managed to grow human blood vessels in a Petri dish for the first time, and even to successfully implant them into live mice. The results could be a game-changer for diabetes.
Emerging Tech

Tiny animals discovered in Antarctic lake deep beneath the ice

Scientists have made a surprising discovery in Antarctica: the carcasses of tiny animals including crustaceans and a tardigrade were found in a lake that sits deep beneath over half a mile of Antarctic ice.
Emerging Tech

How long is a day on Saturn? Scientists finally have an answer

The length of Saturn's day has always been a challenge to calculate because of the planet's non-solid surface and magnetic field. But now scientists have tracked vibrations in the rings to pin down a final answer.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Google’s radar-sensing tech could make any object smart

Computer scientists have shown how Google’s Soli sensor can be used to make dumb objects smart. Here's why radar-powered computing could finally make the dream of smart homes a reality.