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Hyperloop One enters India with super-fast transportation system

The Los Angeles-based company, known as Hyperloop One, will decide by year-end whether it is feasible to run the vehicle in India after studying the market, CEO Rob Lloyd said in an interview in New Delhi.

Hyperloop Technologies Inc, which is building a super-fast transportation solution based on an idea by billionaire Elon Musk, is in initial talks with the Indian government and companies to partially build and operate the vehicle on some routes, its chief executive officer said.

The Los Angeles-based company, known as Hyperloop One, will decide by year-end whether it is feasible to run the vehicle in India after studying the market, CEO Rob Lloyd said in an interview in New Delhi.

The company will locally source a significant part of the components including steel if it decides to move ahead with the plan.

"India turns out to be a massive opportunity obviously for the concept of Hyperloop, which is why there’s so much interest," said Lloyd, who’s in the country for discussions with the government.

"We want to align the stakeholders to actually find a route that makes sense, to do the detailed engineering, do the work on financing that route, think about a public-private partnership," he said.

The Hyperloop One Vision For India summit was held in New Delhi on Tuesday. Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Railways, and Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, discussed how Hyperloop One can integrate with and augment India’s vast transport network with reliable, clean, and on-demand autonomous transport, connecting India’s major cities at faster-than-airline speeds.

Hyperloop can reinvent and transform transportation in India, making the nation a global leader in innovation, efficiency, and regional economic growth, the company said.

Hyperloop One is the only Company in the world building a functional Hyperloop system.

India, with the world’s second-biggest population and seventh biggest land mass, is struggling to match infrastructure growth with rapid urbanization.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to spend a record 3.96 trillion rupees ($59 billion) to build and modernize its railways, airports and roads, as the country seeks to improve its facilities to attract companies to invest in the country.

Hyperloop is working on technology that would use magnetic levitation in low-pressure tubes to transport people and goods at airplane-like speeds.

"The market itself makes a lot of sense," Lloyd said. "Our analysis says that between Middle-East, India and parts of the U.S., with a renewed focus on infrastructure, those are logically places where it could happen."

The Hyperloop One Vision For India summit also showcased five Hyperloop One Global Challenge (HOGC) semi-finalist teams from India, each of which proposed high-speed transportation routes that could improve the lives of millions of Indian citizens.

The HOGC required the teams to develop regional proposals integrating Hyperloop One's disruptive transport technology to move passengers and freight from point-to-point, swiftly, and on-demand.

The HOGC which was kicked off in May 2016 invited teams across the world to put forward a comprehensive and commercially viable transport plan covering economical and policy aspects of their respective cities, regions and countries. The HOGC received more than 2,600 registrants from 90 countries, and narrowed the field down to 35 semi-finalists across all continents with a potential pipeline worth $26 billion. India led the way with the highest number of registrants and had the most vocal supporters of Hyperloop One on social media.