City-to-City Stops in Under an Hour? Hyperloop Technology Just Took a Step Further in the US
Tami Abdollah is dot.LA's senior technology reporter. She was previously a national security and cybersecurity reporter for The Associated Press in Washington, D.C. She's been a reporter for the AP in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times and for L.A.'s NPR affiliate KPCC. Abdollah spent nearly a year in Iraq as a U.S. government contractor. A native Angeleno, she's traveled the world on $5 a day, taught trad climbing safety classes and is an avid mountaineer. Follow her on Twitter.
A new type of high-speed mass transit that envisions enabling daily commutes from, say, San Francisco or Las Vegas to Los Angeles in under an hour has moved one crucial step closer to reality.
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation released a guidance document that provides a clear pathway for hyperloop regulation and deployment in the United States. The document was developed by the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology Council, which was created last year to explore this issue.
L.A.-based Virgin Hyperloop, which has raised more than $400 million led by DP World and is also backed by Virgin Group, hailed the step. It hopes hyperloop technology will lead the world into 21st century transportation. The company said it has worked closely with the NETT Council since its creation.
"It takes strong vision to break away from the inertia of the status quo and embrace these opportunities," said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. He said the announcement lays the groundwork for the U.S. to take that leadership.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said that the guidance "bridges the gap between innovator and regulator" and "prioritizes safety during development without hampering innovation."
Hyperloop technology relies on electric propulsion and electromagnetic levitation in a tube at near-vacuum conditions so that a vehicle carrying cargo or commuters can travel along major roadways at rates approaching 700 mpg to the "metro stops" of connecting cities.
The U.S. Department of Transportation also said Thursday that it determined hyperloop projects are eligible for federal funding, including some of its loan and lending projects, just as any maglev or magnetic levitation project is.
The NETT Council, which was appropriated $2 million to study emerging cross-modal transportation technologies like hyperloop, is expected to provide a report to Congress by December 20. The research includes looking for opportunities for regulatory relief from existing rules created for traditional transportation methods, which may not be applicable to certain emerging transportation technologies.
"It's clear that the USDOT shares our vision for infrastructure development as a way for the country to not just rebuild, but evolve as we emerge from this crisis," said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop, in a statement.
Last month, Virgin Hyperloop announced a partnership with Spirit AeroSystems, an aerospace manufacturer, to produce the hyperloop bogie.
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The Rams and Chargers are set to play in a brand new $5.5 billion stadium in Inglewood this season that is being billed as the most technologically advanced in the world. Meanwhile, Dodger Stadium just completed a $100 million update and L.A. will be getting a new pro women's soccer team, Angel City, in 2022 backed by high profile VC's and celebrities.
Julie Uhrman, Founder and President at WFC LA (Angel City)
Julie Uhrman, Founder and President at WFC LA (Angel City)<p>Founder and president of Angel City, the consortium who received the rights from the NWSL to officially bring a women's soccer team to Los Angeles in 2022. </p><p>Uhrman was named head of media at Playboy in 2018 after serving as Lionsgate's GM of over-the-top ventures, overseeing the company's Tribeca Shortlist, Comic-Con HQ, Laugh Out Loud in partnership with Kevin Hart and Pantaya. </p><p>Prior to joining Lionsgate, Uhrman worked at VR vendor Jaunt as head of platform business development. She was the founder and CEO of OUYA, an Android-based game console for living room, which raised $8.6 million through Kickstarter and then went on to secure venture funding from Kleiner Perkins and Alibaba before the company was acquired by Razer in 2015. Previously Uhrman held executive roles in digital and game companies including IGN Entertainment and Vivendi Universal.</p>
Kevin Demoff, Chief Operating Officer at Los Angeles Rams
Kevin Demoff, Chief Operating Officer at Los Angeles Rams<p>Kevin Demoff is in his 11th year as chief operating officer with the Rams. In this capacity, Demoff serves as the team's top front office executive and liaison to owner and chairman, Stan Kroenke, on all organizational matters.</p><p>Demoff was recognized by the Sports Business Journal as one of its "Forty under 40" class members of 2016 and in 2010 he was named one of the "NFL's 10 Future Power Brokers" by Sports Illustrated.</p><p>Prior to joining the Rams, Demoff spent the previous four seasons (2005-08) with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he served as a consultant before being named senior assistant in 2006. In this capacity, Demoff assisted General Manager Bruce Allen in contract negotiations, salary cap management, strategic planning and both college and pro scouting. During his tenure with the Buccaneers, the team captured NFC South titles in 2005 and 2007 while posting a winning record in three of his four seasons.</p>
Ben Bergman, Senior Reporter at dot.LA
Ben Bergman, Senior Reporter at dot.LA<p>Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior reporter, covering venture capital. Previously he was a senior reporter/host at KPCC, a producer at Gimlet Media and NPR and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times. Bergman was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. He enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.</p>
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