Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Vs Hyperloop One
Technology. The HT technology uses a low-pressure suspension system in order to enable easily purchased and installed standard commercial pumps to overcome leaky seals or cracks somewhere in the hundreds of miles of tube. With this system arises air-related restrictions, like the Kantrowitz limit (the limit in the distance between the the tube and the pod at a given speed before it forces the pod to move all the air in the tube infront of it, like a syringe, Van Wie, 1996). Consequently, HT’s solution was to install a compressor on each pod in order to move the preassure differential from the front to the rear of the pod. This system also provides a solution in regards of friction, if each pod rides on a cushion of air, there will be low friction as the tube won’t have to suspend the pods itself.
Engineering Structure. HT managed to organize a board of directors, an engineering team, which consists of 100 full-time engineers in constrast of HTT’s engineering headcount, which consists of 500 part-time engineers located across the United States that work remotely via teleconferences.(Cava, 2016 and Hyperloop One, 2016)
Working Capital. The HT seed investment funds came mainly from Sherpa Capital. They managed to raise US$37 million in order to fund initial operations and a test track project in Nevada. In June of 2016 was reported that they had raised more than US$90 million for the next round of expansion. On the other hand, HTT’s working capital comes from crowdsourcing initiative JumpStartFund which enables acredited investors to support HTT business operations. (Davies, 2014)
Costs. In HT’ technology the motors and pods are not a big concern, wich are in the million dollars order, but the tube itself, which could cost several billion dollars. As high as these numbers are, they are still lower than other traditional transportation system. The HT main comparison is with the California High Speed Rail, which will cost several tens of billions of dollars. However, the building cost of this tech are very similar to HTT’s as they are based on pylons, in both projects the need to buy land is mostly bypassed, because of they are built alongside many highways (Buhr, S, 2016). These transportation systems can be built over land already in use for public transportation, such as in the medians of freeways, and telephone poles, minimizing footprint. (Miller, 2016)
Testing stages. HT’s testing stage is ahead of HTT’s. as HT tested their motor in May, 11, 2016. This initial test was developed to determine the ability of the company’s linear electric motor to accelerate the test vehicle to 335 mph (539 km/h). After that, HT do a full scale test in a 1.9-mile track where suspended pods will pass through low-friction tubes using the low-preassure system. In July 2016, Hyperloop One released a preliminary study that suggested the feasibility of a Hyperloop connection between Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden in order to reduce travel time between the cities to half an hour. The construction costs of this project were estimated to be around US$21 billion. HT have planned to test the entire hyperloop system in early 2017 and is working to develop routes in five countries, they want to be moving cargo by 2020 and passengers by 2021 (Hyperloop One, n.d.). Another project HT recently reported is with the United Arab Emirates, which will start by studying its feasibility. On early November, it was anounced that HT and the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) would begin to develop the first commercial hyperloop system from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and will reduce travel time from about two hours by car to 12 minutes in the hyperloop (Burh, 2016)
On the other hand, HTT’s product, the innovation train, counts with an already developed engine, and is working to toward its commercialization, and also looking for additional benefits in this mode of transportation. HTT’s testing stage, on the other hand, are getting the company to sign deal with many goverments. In 2016 was announced an agreement with the Slovakian government to build Hyperloops from Vienna, Austria to Bratislava, Slovakia, and from Bratislava to Budapest, Hungary. Although it’s a smaller project than HT’s the total costs for this project are estimated to be around US$250 million, which translate to a projected annual capacity of around 10 million passengers.
Where HTT is better than HT?
HTT’s Management approach. HT’s management style is very similar to many traditional hierarchical organizations, which lacks of agility to capitalize business and technological opportunities explained by the bureaucracy theory and its vertical communications perspective (Selznick, 1943). On the other hand, because of the HTT crowdsourcing and crowfunding perspective, rather than having a engineering headcount being paid directly, members work in exchange for stock options, which frees up operation costs and align the crowdsourced ideas from investors to the ultimate goal of the HTT business, reduce travel time while being a profitable organization.
HTT’s strategic alliances. HTT have a partner association with a organization that runs ran simulation models for the fluid dynamics of the Hyperloop, the engineering software company ANSYS. HTT also counts with a partnership that design the HTT user experience’s human factor, which included ticketing, boarding, pod design and station architechture. A third and great strategic alliance is with Aecom and Oerlikon, the world’s oldest vacuum technology organization. (Cava, 2016)
HTT’s market focus. Both organizations are working to make conections between long-distanced cities across many countries, but HTT is also planing to build slower privatized urban Hyperloops for inter-suburb travel, which represents a market with different business requirements. An entire market segment to capitalize business opportunities from.
HT’s Speed. The average speed of HT’s system is twice that of a typical aircraft, 800 miles per hour whereas HTT’s system also enables travelling as fast as the speed of sound, 760 miles per hour. This difference allows the HT’s pods to arrive earlier that HTT’s capsules (Merril, 2015). This difference represents a threat to HTT’s business because if both companies get to compete in the same project, the time travel would be an important factor in the desission making process
HT’s Prototype. Hyperloop One began making a full-scale prototype in 2016, which is earlier than HTTs full scale prototipe system production. This stage of HT’s business is a threat to HTTs because it states its closed state to commercial production, which would translate into lost opportunities for HTT via market share (Davis, 2016)
HT’s full-time engineering headcount. HT counts with a 100 full-time engineers vs 500 part-time eingineers, although many HTT’s design engineers have strong technical skills and nearly all of them have day jobs at companies like Boeing, NASA, Yahoo!, Airbus, SpaceX, and Salesforce, the full-time workforce could manage better deadlines and tight schedules.