A deal signed with Hyperloop One could bring the futuristic transportation system not just to the Russian capital, but also to the vast expanse of central Asia.
Kent GermanFormer senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Moscow may one day get a supersonic competitor to its grand metro system. Hyperloop One yesterday announced that it had signed an agreement with city officials and The Summa Group, a Russian company that funds infrastructure projects, to explore the possibility of building a Hyperloop system around the Moscow region.
Though speeding Moscow's population of 16 million people around the sprawling capital would be an initial goal, Hyperloop One cofounder Shervin Pishevar said the network also would be the first step in an eventual connection to China. "Our longer-term vision is to work with Russia to implement a transformative new Silk Road: a cargo Hyperloop that whisks freight containers from China to Europe in a day," he said.
Backed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Hyperloop technology promises to revolutionize long-distance transport. Using magnets to levitate pods holding passengers or cargo in an airless tube, the floating pods could reach speeds of up to 700 mph (1,127 kph).
Projected costs or a timeline for building a Moscow system were not released. Though no working Hyperloop systems have yet been built, other projects are being explored for sites in Finland, the US and the UK.
Watch this: Watch the Hyperloop One launch into high speed for the first time