Hyperloop, tunneling, autonomous vehicles, other technologies part of new study

Okras via Wikimedia Commons

Emerging transportation technologies like hyperloop, tunneling and self-driving cars, will be studied by a new federal panel, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced Tuesday

The new Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology Council will meet for the first time this week and will explore the regulation and permitting of hyperloop technology, among other tasks.

Hyperloop would send pods screaming through tubes in excess of 700 mph. By sucking air out of the tunnel and having the trains float over rails via a magnate system, drag would be reduced allowing high speeds to be achieved. The Virgin Group has invested in the technology and is helping fund the testing in Nevada. The system is explained in this video.

"New technologies increasingly straddle more than one mode of transportation, so I’ve signed an order creating a new internal department council to better coordinate the review of innovation that have multi-modal applications,” Chao said Tuesday at the South by Southwest  conference in Austin, Texas.

Autonomous cars loom on the horizon, something the MTC is tracking through its Horizon initiative

Meanwhile, tunnels for transportation looks to be a go in Las Vegas

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