Virgin Hyperloop One and Autodesk Partnership

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Autodesk and Virgin Hyperloop One announced a new joint development partnership at Autodesk University 2019. The pair announced an alliance to explore new opportunities in extending the value of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for transportation route optimization, improved digital engineering, and construction workflows.

Maybe this means that someday it may be possible to get from LA to future Autodesk Universities in Las Vegas a bit quicker.


Virgin Hyperloop One and Autodesk Partnership

From the official press release…

"Virgin Hyperloop One is pushing the boundaries of transportation efficiency. Together, with our global teams and shared customers, Virgin Hyperloop One and Autodesk will explore ways to optimize hyperloop routing and operations – in a way that not only propels the hyperloop industry forward, but also has ancillary benefits to more traditional forms of transportation such as railway and highway route optimization."
          -Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Virgin Hyperloop One

Virgin Hyperloop One's visionary technology features depressurized tubes that carry on-demand passenger or cargo pods at speeds of up to potentially 670 miles per hour, powered by magnetic-levitation and electric propulsion. Its depressurized tube infrastructure eliminates the impacts of air-drag and friction, requiring less energy and cost to operate.

You can hear and see Josh Giegel’s AU presentation, which was part of the Architecture, Engineering & Construction Keynote. Looks like you’ll have to wait for upcoming access to AU2019 online to see it if you missed it on Autodesk University Live Stream.

More Than a Few Hyperloops

Lest you be confused - Virgin Hyperloop One is not Elon Musk’s Hyperloop project that is part of SpaceX. Elon Musk famously wrote a much-popularized Hyperloop Alpha white paper where he named evacuated tube technology hyperloop. The concept has been around for over a century.

Virgin Hyperloop One currently holds the hyperloop tube speed record at around 240+ miles per hour at their Nevada test facility.

Back in the day while I was at Berkeley in the late 70’s I wrote a not-so-famous essay on retrofitting existing and rail and freeway systems with self-evacuated tube technology as a method to increase systems throughput and reduce congestion. I called it Photo Train based on the laser guidance system proposed. It was a fun thought experiment.

Funny, most current cars and trucks now have the sensor basis for the remote guidance technology already built in. Everything today has cameras.

Frankly, I think tube technology is in the short term probably much more important and profitable for moving shipping containers around than people. Stadium and airport people transport systems is a possible exception. Let’s call it an 80 20 Rule thing. In other words, I think an evacuated freight tube system to and from LA harbor and distribution centers at the edges of the LA metro would pay for itself quickly. You could replace the harbors, shipping centers, and metros as you see fit. Certainly, it would pay us all more than the current costs of HOV lanes not to mention making the freeways and rail interchanges a lot safer.

Ok, Nobody asked me - certainly not anyone at CalTrans. Those folks already spent billions for planning and a right of way (they already own the best ones) and to address a problem that doesn’t exist instead of the genuine ones. Remember, I live right in the center California – the home of the High-Speed Train to Nowhere.

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