Hyperloop One, a Los Angeles-based startup developing the technology for the Hyperloop high-speed transportation system, is interested in building a Hyperloop that can travel underwater.
Peter Diamandis, a Hyperloop One board member and CEO of the X-Prize Foundation, told Business Insider that the startup is interested in using Hyperloop to transport cargo to ports 10 miles off shore.
“We’ve been talking to a lot of the port authorities around the world about re-engineering their ports in this kind of fashion,” he said.
Hyperloop One is proposing moving ports 10 miles off the coastline and having ships dock “like a giant oil platform” to off-load their cargo, Diamandis said. The Hyperloop would then travel between the coastline and the port to transport cargo containers.
Moving ports into the ocean would clear up land on the coastline, opening up the potential for “a huge real-estate boom.”
“Long Beach, near where I live, is a beautiful California coastline that is basically covered with ports or cargo containers and ships,” Diamandis said. “Imagine if you could regain all of that coastline for parks and homes and beaches by taking the port and putting the port 10 miles off shore.”
The design work that’s been done for the Hyperloop presents it as a contained tube, meaning it could stay underwater. Diamandis said that having the Hyperloop travel underwater would prevent issues with shipping lanes.
“Conceptually, I think one of the things that’s interesting about the future is there’s a lot of underutilized space underground,” Diamandis said. “And I think one of the areas the Hyperloop can become an expert in is tunneling technology in the future.”
Diamandis also said there’s “been conversations” about using the underwater Hyperloop to transport people too.
“Some of the more interesting proposals that have come in have been [about] going between Norway and Sweden — going through the water ways there,” he said.
Hyperloop One did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.