TransPod is designing a new generation of ultra-high-speed transportation vehicles, to travel between cities using fossil-fuel-free technology. Combining aerospace with rail engineering, TransPod has developed a breakthrough in Canadian technology, and is developing a new type of “hyperloop” called the TransPod System. TransPod is a fully electric transportation system with vehicles for passengers and cargo travelling in a low-pressure tube environment, travelling faster than jet airplanes, with departures as frequent as subway trains. This Canadian startup is based in Toronto, with collaborations in Italy and France, as well as Edmonton, Calgary and Hamilton in Canada.
TransPod is tackling one of the planet’s biggest upcoming challenges: sustainable transportation. Current modes of transport - such as cars, trucks, and jet aircraft, are fossil-fuel dependent (asphalt roads & jet fuel), polluting, and vulnerable to weather conditions. Speed is becoming more critical, as our economy increasingly depends on just-in-time deliveries, fast passenger commutes between cities, and the value of people’s time spent stuck in traffic.
Designed to travel at speeds exceeding 1000km/h, the TransPod vehicle will carry passengers and cargo between cities, with convenient departures from stations, at extremely high speeds. TransPod’s strategy is to address simultaneous challenges of pollution and carbon emissions, traffic congestion, speed, and efficiency. The technology provides an attractive choice for travellers and businesses in terms of ultra-high-speeds, convenience, frequency, and price compared to airline tickets and high-speed rail tickets. It supports larger government policy initiatives of reducing highway congestion and maintenance, reducing carbon emissions, being fully-electric and fossil-fuel-free, and increasing economic activity through rapid intercity commerce.
In 2016, TransPod secured $15 million USD in seed funding from Angelo Investments, an Italian high-technology holding group specializing in advanced technologies for the railway, space, and aviation industries. The funding was used to open Canadian, Italian, and French operations, grow TransPod’s team of top engineers and experts from around the world, and invest in research and development.
In 2017, TransPod announced new industry partnerships, with Liebherr Aerospace, Blackshape Aircraft, and a federal government laboratory in Canada. TransPod has research and development collaborations with University of Toronto, three universities in Europe, and soon the University of Calgary and Queen’s University. Working with leading institutions like CERN (particle accelerator and vacuum experts), TransPod aims to cross-pollinate the best researchers across disciplines.
Today, TransPod is starting two international publicly funded projects in France and Italy. The company has received political support from France and Canada, and is working toward transport certification with Canadian and European authorities.
In 2018 TransPod plans to begin construction of its first half-scale test track in France, then a full-scale test track in Canada in 2020. The company expects to have a commercially viable product by 2023, and to start the construction of a first line in 2025. Passengers could potentially be on board the TransPod system before 2030.