Dutch Unveil Hyperloop Test Facility

Testing for Elon Musk’s high-speed transportation system will take place at TU Delft


Dutch startup Hardt Global Mobility unveiled a full-scale Hyperloop test facility at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Spanning 30 meters in length, the test track will eventually be fitted with rails and shuttles designed by Hardt.

Earlier this year, the TU Delft students who founded Hardt won Elon Musk’s competition to develop the prototype. The group beat teams from MIT and the Technical University of Munich in all-around design and construction.

Building the future of transportation

The proposed Hyperloop is a shuttle powered by electricity and magnets that transports cargo at about 700 miles per hour. The system consists of “pods” that zoom through air-tight, low-friction pipes, and have the potential to carry people and freight.

The prototype is a first step towards the goal of developing the technology throughout the country. Hardt Mobility Co-founder Tim Houter has ambitions to build a high-speed commercial loop between Amsterdam and Paris by 2021. These developments will further the Netherlands’ position as a leading European transport and logistics hub.

Dutch Infrastructure and Environment Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen said the Hyperloop system could “help solidify the Netherlands’ position as a gateway to Europe, by transporting freight arriving at Rotterdam’s busy port. If you then can move the goods in a fast way to the rest of Europe, this is very important for competition.”

“The Netherlands is leading the way in innovative and sustainable mobility. We have world-class test facilities for the air and space industry, as well as for water management, autonomous driving and drone technologies. We’re the first country to create legislation that will shortly allow driverless cars on public roads. My ambition is to make the Netherlands the Smart Mobility Centre of the world…The hyperloop ties in perfectly with that. Fast, quiet, innovative and sustainable,” said Minister Schultz van Haegen in a speech during the Hyperloop unveiling.

Hotbed for high-tech innovation

With an unrivaled technology infrastructure, a prime logistics location and educated workforce, the Netherlands is well-suited for high-tech research and development. Fueled by world-class research institutions, Holland provides companies with the resources and knowledge needed to turn innovation into bottom-line results. Many global companies including IBM, Philips and Intel have R&D operations in the country.

Tesla, another Elon Musk company, opened a factory in Tilburg in 2015 to take advantage of the Netherlands favorable business climate.

Source: CNBC, Reuters and government.nl

7 June 2017

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