A moonshot now gets a real shot.
Today, an ambitious proposal to connect Chicago, Columbus and Pittsburgh via high-speed transportation – a plan that would get riders from Chicago to Columbus in under thirty minutes, and from Columbus to Pittsburgh in 20 – was selected as one of 10 winners of Hyperloop One’s Global Challenge.
Hyperloop One, a well-funded startup developing super-fast transportation technology, issued an open call to companies, individuals, universities, and governments over a year ago to submit proposals for best-use cases of its disruptive tech. The company received over 2,600 registrations from more than 100 countries.
One such proposal, dubbed Midwest Connect, came from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), a business group in Columbus, with a goal of making central Ohio more accessible to the region’s other major cities.
“Our Midwest Connect proposal fulfills a need for faster surface transportation options in the Midwest and strengthens connections and economic opportunities between the growing, tech-savvy regions of Columbus and Pittsburgh with the global power of Chicago,” explained William Murdock, MORPC Executive Director, in a statement.
Each of the 10 winning proposals will now move forward in the Hyperloop process. No guarantee of implementation or launch date was issued.
Added Ohio governor John Kasich, “Midwest Connect builds on our heritage of innovation, complements our advances in smart mobility and strengthens Ohio’s position as a leader in technologies of the future.”
Other winning proposals included routes that would quickly connect England to Edinburgh, Miami to Orlando, Toronto to Montreal, and Dallas to Laredo to Houston.
The hyperloop began as a moonshot idea from billionaire Elon Musk, former Paypal founder and current Tesla CEO, whose initial plan imagined a tubular transportation system with the ability to move people and freight from L.A. to San Francisco in just 35 minutes. Though the hyperloop concept began with Musk, he is not affiliated with Hyperloop One.
Image via MORPC and Hyperloop One