NITI Aayog has formed a panel to explore the technological and commercial viability of the Virgin Hyperloop technology for ultrahigh-speed travel in India.
“In view of the emerging transport technology and for gaining the first-mover advantage, it is essential to look into the technological and commercial viability of the Virgin Hyperloop technology”, reads a NITI Aayog documents, accessed by the PTI.
The formation of the Committee comes weeks after Hyperloop’s completed its first test with humans on board.
The panel committee includes – NITI Aayog member VK Saraswat as its Chairman and Adviser (Infrastructure Connectivity, Niti Aayog) Sudhendu Jyoti Sinha as its convener. Along with them, Railway Board Chairman & CEO VK Yadav, the Secretaries of The Ministries of Housing and Urban Affairs, Road Transport and Highways, and The Maharashtra Government’s Transport Secretary will also be a part of the committee.
The members also include The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s Chairman, the Delhi Metro’s Managing Director, the IIT-Delhi Director and the Chairman (Technology Information) of The Forecasting and Assessment Council.
“It is relevant to explore technological, commercial, financial (viability) and (assess) safety standards and regulations to procure new technology. It has been decided to constitute an Expert Committee,” reads the document further.
On a 500- meter track in Las Vegas, a test of the Virgin Hyperloop was conducted inside an enclosed tube at more than 100 mph or 161 kmph. The hyperloop then carried passengers travelling including an Indian.
“To study Virgin hyperloop technology and its commercial viability, (and) safety, regulation and finalise the document within six months’ time of its first meeting”, says the document on mandating the committee. “The committee may also invite domain experts and representatives from various organisations to its meetings as it may deem fit,” it added.
The involvement of the NITI Aayog may report the committee to act as a roadmap for charting the way forward for hyperloop in the country.