News & Analysis

HyperloopTT-powered venture 'Hyper Transfer' launches in Italy

1st February 2024
Kristian McCann

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) has emerged as the technology provider in a collaborative venture between leading Italian industrial companies, Webuild and Leonardo.

This initiative, under the Partnership for Innovation, will explore the viability of a hyperloop prototype, named 'Hyper Transfer', designed to transport both cargo and passengers. This endeavour aims to establish the world's first operational commercial hyperloop system, creating a link between Venice-Mestre and Padua.

In June 2023, the HyperloopTT-backed consortium, Hyper Builders, secured the winning bid in a tender issued by the Venetian Motorway Concession (CAV), the regional highway authority in Italy. This project involves developing a hyperloop prototype on the route connecting Venice-Mestre and Padua. CAV and Webuild, the project leader, have signed a contract to commence a feasibility study. This initiative encompasses three phases: the initial study, a detailed design and engineering phase, followed by the final phase involving construction, testing, and certification.

'Hyper Transfer' is set to significantly reduce heavy traffic, cut down traditional transport times and energy usage, enhance road safety, and improve connections between transport systems and smart cities in the local area. The project will unfold in several stages, beginning with a feasibility and environmental impact assessment. The system is planned to be scalable, ultimately connecting the cities of Venice (Mestre) and Padua fully.

The joint venture, Hyper Builders, includes some of the world's most prestigious companies in the transportation sector. Webuild, Italy's largest engineering and general contractor group and a key player globally in the construction industry, leads the venture alongside Leonardo, a major multinational in aerospace, defence, and security. Additionally, RINA, a firm specialising in transport and infrastructure, and Hyperloop Italia, HyperloopTT's licensee in Italy, are integral members of the joint venture.

Andrés de León, CEO of HyperloopTT, commented: "This is a pivotal moment for HyperloopTT, a journey that started in 2013. We are grateful to the Italian government, the Veneto region, and CAV for their foresight and dedication to sustainable innovation. Our collaboration with some of the finest engineering and transportation firms, deeply rooted in the region, is a significant step towards introducing the world's first hyperloop systems."

Zach Zhang, Director of HyperloopTT and a Silicon Valley-based venture capitalist, stated: "As a long-standing supporter of groundbreaking transportation solutions and an investor in HyperloopTT, the launch of 'Hyper Transfer' is a momentous occasion. We take immense pride in our management team and staff's accomplishments. Our investment goes beyond a technological breakthrough; it's an investment in the people shaping the future of sustainable and efficient travel."

Andrea La Mendola, COO of HyperloopTT, added: "Italy has consistently been a hub of creativity, innovation, and progress, from the artistic heights of the Renaissance to the engineering marvels of their high-speed trains. Today, with the 'Hyper Transfer' project, we are on the brink of revolutionising mobility. This hyperloop system is more than just a fast connection between Venice and Padua; it symbolises Italy's enduring spirit of innovation and its commitment to sustainable, efficient transportation."

The initial tender, issued on 29th March 2022, followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Italy’s Ministry of Infrastructure, CAV, and the Veneto region, outlining a timeline for researching, selecting, planning, and implementing a high-speed sustainable solution.

The hyperloop is a tube-based transport system that moves people and goods at speeds comparable to aeroplanes, safely, efficiently, and sustainably. Its introduction will drastically reduce travel times between city centres, fostering extensive economic growth across connected regions and replacing current modes of travel that are heavy on emissions.

Bibop Gresta, Founder and CEO of Hyperloop Italia, expressed his enthusiasm: "The hyperloop sector is experiencing a significant period of growth, akin to a renaissance. HyperloopTT's ten years of technological development, coupled with rapid advancements in Europe and successful tests in China, highlight the industry's dynamism. Italy is poised to be a leader in this eco-friendly, high-speed transportation revolution."

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