Is Hyperloop Transportation Technology Feasible or Insurable?

October 18, 2017

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies wants to build a tube-based inter and intra-city transportation system to transport passengers and cargo at high speeds. As part of its efforts to gain support, it sought to assure people that its technology is feasible.

The firm recently collaborated with Munich Re on a risk analysis of Hyperloop’s proposed futuristic transport system.

The good news for Hyperloop is the experts at Munich Re believe the technology is both feasible and insurable.

This is how Hyperloop works: a travel capsule moves through a tube with nearly zero friction and safely up to airplane speeds. The capsule is propelled by a drastic reduction of air in the tube along with magnetic levitation and propulsion. The system is all powered by a combination of alternative energy and energy conservation systems that its designer day will produce as much or more energy than it uses.

Global insurer Munich Re conducted a comprehensive risk analysis of the Hyperloop technology and created the first Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Risk Report. Over the past year, a project team within Munich Re’s Special Enterprise Risks Unit weighed the risks and challenges facing HTT’s Hyperloop technology. They developed risk landscapes to shed light on enterprise and technological risk and to document relevant external and internal influencing variables.

Munich Re concluded that the Hyperloop technology is both feasible and insurable in the medium term and that delivering the system demands a model represented by HTT’s innovative approach.

The risk report forms the foundation for active strategic risk management and, according to company officials, having risk management integrated into its planning will allow HTT to move ahead to other challenges such as the legal framework for its transportation infrastructure and to commence actual construction.

“Offering an insurable system is a massive milestone for this groundbreaking technology,” Dirk Ahlborn, CEO and co-founder of HTT, said. “As we move forward with commercialization of the system and our technology, our biggest challenge remains the creation of a new regulatory framework.”

“With one of the world’s leading insurance companies as a partner, we are able to integrate a risk management framework into our planning process,” Bibop Gresta, chairman and co-founder of HTT said. “Now with further validation that our technologies and system are feasible and insurable, we are ready to build.”

The analysis also positions Munich Re to develop new insurance products to meet the needs of Hyperloop.

“The technology developed by HTT is set to fundamentally change the way we travel in the future. Such technological shifts give rise to new insurance needs that demand innovative solutions,” which Munich Re is happy to develop, said Torsten Jeworrek, member of the Munich Re board of management.

The Munich Re findings may also help sway public opinion as to the safety of Hyperloop, although recent research by travel and specialty insurer Allianz Global Assistance USA suggests the public is more comfortable with the idea of super-fast trains like Hyperloop than with autonomous cars. Self-driving or autonomous vehicles rate lowest for travelers “very interested” and highest for “safety concerns” among those not interested when compared to other future travel methods surveyed, including space travel, supersonic travel, Hyperloop high-speed rail, and even flying cars.

Founded in 2013, HTT is a global team comprised of more than 800 engineers, creatives and technologists in 52 multidisciplinary teams, with 40 corporate and university partners. Headquartered in Los Angeles, HTT has offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE; Bratislava, Slovakia; Toulouse, France; and Barcelona, Spain. HTT has signed agreements in California, Slovakia, Abu Dhabi, the Czech Republic, France, Indonesia and Korea.

Hyperloop has been promoted by entrepreneur Elon Musk, who founded Tesla Motors, helped start PayPal, and is also co-founder and CEO of Space X.


Topics InsurTech Tech Risk Management

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