When the company invited press to its desert test facility outside Las Vegas in May for a first look at how its technology worked, it was on top of the hyperloop world.
Since then, its star has fallen, hard, thanks to an internal power struggle and competing claims of bad behavior by executives and employees.
Now, Hyperloop One, which has raised $100 million to bring its vision of Elon Musk’s vision for a super-high-speed network of tubes and magnetically levitating pods that, theoretically could take passengers or cargo from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes, is trying to get back on track: Today it announced it has signed a deal to study the feasibility of bringing cargo from ships to Dubai’s port. The company signed its pact with DP World, said to be the world’s third-largest port and terminals operator.
“The agreement calls for the two parties to collaborate on an economic and technical feasibility study,” Hyperloop One wrote in a release, “of how Hyperloop technology can improve the efficiency, profitability, and sustainability of DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali port….The feasibility study will assess the business case for using Hyperloop One technology to move freight from container ships docked at Jebel Ali to a planned DP World inland container depot. The study will provide preliminary details on the design of a right of way, capital and operating costs, and potential project finance solutions.”
Hyperloop One said in May that the 150-person company hoped to run full-system, full-scale tests by Q4 of this year, and that if regulators play ball, it could start transporting cargo at hundreds of miles an hour by 2019 and passengers by 2021. But cofounder Shervin Pishevar told Fast Company at the time that strict regulations in the United States probably mean those initial operations would take place in other parts of the world.