JAKARTA — Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, the developer of a futuristic vacuum-based transportation system, will begin feasibility studies on a few popular routes in Indonesia in the coming months.
“Indonesia is a perfect market for the company to jump into, due to its high population density and underdeveloped infrastructure. The country seems to be in dire need of more sustainable transportation solutions,” Hyperloop Technologies (HTT) chairman and chief operations officer Bibop G Gresta told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday (March 8).
HTT agreed earlier this week to establish a joint venture enterprise, Hyperloop Transtek Indonesia, with local partners – Mr Dwi Putranto Sulaksono, the founder of humanitarian organisation Dwiyuna Jaya Foundation, and Mr Ron Mullers, the founder of Papa Ron’s Pizza.
The joint venture will conduct a US$2.5 million (S$3.55 million) study to test three potential routes for the Hyperloop system in Indonesia.
“The planned routes we’re looking at include a link from the Tangerang airport [Soekarno-Hatta International Airport] to the city centre,” Mr Gresta said. He added that in the long run a much more extensive network connecting all of the major cities in Java and Sumatra can also run on the Hyperloop system.
With maximum speed of 1,300km/h, Hyperloop can carry passengers from Soekarno-Hatta to downtown Jakarta in just 12 minutes.Travelling from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, which usually takes 10 hours by car, would take a scarcely believable 25 minutes on a Hyperloop.
“We are capable of neutralizing 70 per cent of traffic to and from Soekarno-Hatto within the first year of the system’s implementation,” Mr Gresta said.
“We’re squeezing distances in such a way that one will be able to travel from one side of Java to the other in an hour and a half,” he said.
Mr Gresta said he has been in talks with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure about the future of Hyperloop in Indonesia for the past year. The planned feasibility studies are expected to take another three to six months to complete.
“And then we have 38 months to build it,” Mr Gresta added.
Hyperloop also plans to introduce its new system in the US, India, United Arab Emirates, France and Slovakia.
Indonesia has shown eagerness in past years to upgrade its century-old railway system, with two high-speed railways currently being developed on the busy Jakarta-Bandung and Jakarta-Surabaya routes.
Mr Gresta argues that Hyperloop is 30 per cent more efficient than high-speed rail technology as it uses passive magnetism levitation to float its passenger carriage inside a near vacuum steel tube that eliminates friction.
The Hyperloop also only costs a fifth to a tenth to maintain compared to high-speed rail network.
Hyperloop infrastructure utilizes integrated solar panels, generates almost zero noise pollution and as is driver-less, Mr Gresta added.
The company expects huge profits in the first decade of use.
“We have a system that can recuperate the entire investment within 6 to 10 years,” Mr Gresta said.
Hyperloop’s system might even become free of charge eventually, Mr Gresta suggested, as the company is considering selling tickets only for use during peak hours or implementing “premium tubes” at a higher cost. JAKARTA GLOBE
Source: TODAY ONLINE