Canadian startup offers up Hyperloop competition
Elon Musk's Hyperloop may have some competition from our neighbors up north.
Magnovate Technologies, headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, with an office in downtown San Jose, is developing its own extremely fast transit system dubbed Magline Transit.
The company was founded in 2012 and has raised $2 million, funded by Cross Point Venture Partners and has $500,000 pending from Transport Canada.
He explained the cost to build would be so much cheaper thanks to the passive switching technology, which allows a pipeline flow of smaller, lighter vehicles on elevated guideways.
Light-rail systems by design must be built at grade, which tends to be
much more expensive projects.
Corns said that the city of San Jose has also reached out to introduce Magnovate to Tesla Motors for a possible partnership to build the company's maglev vehicles.
"I'm not sure what will come from the intro, but it's certainly a partnership opportunity that's worth exploring."
Corns wrote in an email.
The basic technology behind the automated transit system is magnetic levitation, which has been in development for more than 10 years, said Dan Corns, president of Magnovate Technologies.
The Magline Transit system would be developed first in urban local area networks (LANs) with trains operating on magnetic levitation tracks at about 300 miles per hour.
Then, using Magnovate's patented passive switching technology (which Corns compares to line switching in the telecoms sector), the local networks would be connected to high-speed wide area networks (WANs), where trains would travel at 1,000 miles per hour.
"This process lowers congestion points by creating more stops across open-air LANs for passengers to board vehicles and then connects with high-speed WANs to avoid bottleneck," Corns said.
San Jose could be where the first Magline demonstration is built, Corns said, because the city is seen by the rest of the world as a birthplace for breakthrough technology.
Corns anticipates that following a
demonstration track, Magline Transit could go to market in roughly two
to three years. That's a big advantage compared to the Hyperloop, a
system for which Musk has yet to propose a realistic timeline.
Corns predicted the cost of a two-way mile of track to cost between $12 million and $15 million. In comparison, San Jose's existing light-rail system through the Valley Transportation Authority set the city back between $70 to $100 million per mile, Corns said.