Imagine being transported across the country in a tube, at speeds of over 700 miles per hour, and you have stepped into the minds of Hyperloop One’s Global Challenge finalists. The LA-based company has selected 35 teams to present plans for local hyperloop train systems, which could one day become connected to a massive, global transportation system. Over the next five years, three regional routes will be planned for construction as the first steps.
In 2003, Mark Ovenden designed the World Metro Map, which showed what the globe might look like if major cities were connected through underground railways. Hyperloop One’s vision could end up looking a lot like this design, except people and cargo would be transported through the high-speed, vacuum-sealed hyperloop system. The company made waves last fall when its partner Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) announced its plans to connect Abu Dhabi with Dubai via capsule transport.
Related: BIG releases video sneak peek of Hyperloop designed to connect Abu Dhabi & Dubai
“It’s more than just a train, or a pod in a tube,” Josh Giegel, the president of engineering at Hyperloop One, told Inverse. “We’re taking it to a level of connectivity and really being the high-speed backbone of the future transportation network.” The vision of a worldwide hyperloop network is closer to becoming reality, thanks to the company’s Global Challenge. Successful regional systems will pave the way for future projects and possibly, one day, an interconnected network that could completely revolutionize travel and cargo transport.