Russia could be one of the first countries to get a Hyperloop system.
Hyperloop One, a Los Angeles-based startup developing the technology for the futuristic system, announced Tuesday that it has partnered with the City of Moscow and a local company called Summa Group to explore bringing the Hyperloop to Russia.
Shervin Pishevar, Hyperloop One’s co-founder and chairman, said in a press statement that ultimately the company aims to work with Russia to build a “transformative Silk Road: a cargo Hyperloop that whisks freight containers from China to Europe.”
The three entitities signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. While this is Hyperloop One’s first MOU, it currently has feasibility studies underway in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Dubai, the Port of Los Angeles, and the United Kingdom.
The fact that Hyperloop One is pursuing somewhere outside the US to develop its first full scale Hyperloop system isn’t that surprising. In May, Pishevar told Tech Insider that the company was looking abroad to build the system.
“Just from a regulatory, governmental perspective, it’s most likely going to be abroad,” he said at the time.
Another Hyperloop startup called Hyperloop Transportation Technologies also plans on building its first full-scale Hyperloop system outside the US.
HTT signed an agreement with Slovakia earlier this year to explore building a Hyperloop system with routes connecting Bratislava with Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary.
One of the big reasons Hyperloop startups are going abroad to build the tubular system is because getting access to the land to build infrastructure is very difficult in the US. However, Pishevar told Tech Insider earlier this year that US regulators have reacted favourably the Hyperloop thus far — so perhaps it’s too soon to rule out it ever coming to the US.
“In the US and abroad there’s incredible positivity towards Hyperloop,” he said. “People are excited about it and it’s really begun to capture people’s imaginations.”