Hyperloop, the symbol of next-generation transport technologies, has appointed a CEO in the next step to make the tube transport system a reality.
On Wednesday, the company announced the appointment of Rob Lloyd as the company's chief executive officer. Lloyd, a networking specialist who most recently acted as president of Cisco, will lead the research and development of Hyperloop at the firm's new headquarters and testing ground in Los Angeles.
Lloyd will not only act as chief but will also act as an investor and member of Hyperloop's board.
Hyperloop, an idea formulated by entrepreneur Elon Musk of Tesla, is a theoretical transport system based on full-length tubing which would propel passengers from one destination to another through fans, vacuums or pressure systems.
Hyperloop's new CEO commented:
"I'm hugely impressed by the team and the vision of this company and the brilliant team committed to making the Hyperloop a reality. This is an incredible opportunity to dramatically impact the trillion-dollar transportation industry -- Hyperloop is the fifth mode of transport, and will be the most efficient transportation network ever seen.
It's an immense global market, and the opportunity of a lifetime to lead Hyperloop Technologies into the future."
In addition to the appointment of Lloyd, former Snapchat COO Emily White is also joining Hyperloop as an advisor and board member.
Founded in 2014, Hyperloop has now amassed a staff of over 50 across the company's 55,000 sq.ft campus in LA. The new CEO has been tasked with ensuring the Hyperloop test track in late 2016 to early 2017 and to "develop the systems and a family of products that will be ready, proven and commercially viable by 2020."
A tall order for a theoretical transport system, perhaps, but the company hopes to secure partnerships with other companies worldwide to help Hyperloop make the move from fiction to fact.
In a blog post, Lloyd described some of the Hyperloop technology and research currently underway on the firm's campus. The team is working on compressors for each "pod" -- which carries passengers or cargo -- to take air in instead of displacing it, reducing the amount of drag on the pod as it travels down the tube. The team are hoping to develop the compressors further so they can operate in high-speed and low-pressure environments.
In addition, to support the pods, Hyperloop has built a "Levitation Test Rig" to evaluate how air bearings or passive magnetic levitation components can be used, as well as electric linear motors which will propel the pods forward towards their destination.
The Series A financing of $10m was raised over several months in 2014 and the company is currently raising an $80m Series B round.
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