It’s a fact: Shervin Pishevar has a knack for picking winners. With Uber, Airbnb and Slack being just a few of his investments, this savant of Silicon Valley’s list of backed projects and companies is long, distinguished, and shows off the rare ability to identify businesses that can change everything.
Shervin Pishevar’s Hyperloop One is no exception and probably has the potential to make the biggest impact on mass travel than any other tech out there.
This futuristic transport was designed to deliver passengers swiftly and cheaply at speeds similar to air travel, but at a much more affordable cost.
A trip to Dubai from Abu Dhabi, for instance, takes around 90 minutes. The Hyperloop One can make the entire trip in just 12.
Shervin Pishevar saw the potential in this mind-blowing technology way back when, when he co-founded the company just to make this tech a reality.
Recent news of Hyperloop’s groundbreaking, pre-market success has come fast and furious. After raising almost $250 million in investments, Hyperloop One is finally coming to the table with real tech, making a huge splash in the world.
Here’s how the tech works. There are two major elements to the Hyperloop One. The first is the tube, a low-pressure, enclosed environment, built either underground or on columns above ground. The second is the pod, a sleek, aerodynamically designed vehicle. Using electromagnetic energy, the pod will levitate and move through the tube, delivering people to their destination.
Because the tube has almost no air pressure to slow down the pod, the pod can reach almost 700 miles an hour with zero turbulence.
Passengers must stay in their seats the whole time, but since most trips will be extremely short, that won’t be a problem for customers.
The most recent buzz-building event was the unveiling of Hyperloop One’s BMW-designed passenger pod, now on display in Dubai’s City Walk Mall. The features and amenities of the pod are decidedly clean, futuristic and luxurious. With massive amounts of legroom and a high-tech entertainment system for each seat, the aerodynamically spectacular pod more than impressed Dubai’s Crown Prince.
If all moves according to plan, the Hyperloop will make its debut in 2020 in routes across the United States, Canada, Sweden and other countries.
Experts estimate that a trip to Las Vegas from Los Angeles, usually three hours+ grind by car, could take around 30 minutes in the Hyperloop.
This is all a long way from when Pishevar and Elon Musk discussed the design, and Pishevar made the time and financial investment to make Hyperloop One a reality.
In 1972, Robert Goddard, a pioneer in rocketry unveiled the design for a vacuum train that is startlingly similar to the Hyperloop One prototype. In 1972, RAND Corp. designed its own railway, called the Vactrain. Neither project had the mechanism to move forward until Shervin Pishevar became involved.
In 2013, Pishevar went on a humanitarian trip to Cuba with Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and leadership behind Tesla cars. The pair found themselves discussing an idea to build the Hyperloop. At a conference a few years later, Pishevar convinced Musk to tell others about his idea for the Hyperloop-style train. Naturally, this was a good move and it generated the momentum needed to move the project forward.
That same year, Musk wrote a white paper on the potential tech, which Pishevar presented to President Barack Obama. Shervin Pishevar’s relationship with Obama, who had not only awarded him with several prestigious medals, he appointed him to some of the most high-profile government boards. Obama’s reaction was extraordinary, and he uttered eight words that would instantly validate Pishevar and Musk’s efforts.
“Let me know how I can help you,” Obama said.
After adding some of the most noted tech engineers to the Hyperloop team, Shervin Pishevar and co-founder Josh Giegel outlined the design and business plan on a whiteboard in a Los Feliz, CA garage in 2014. That was where Hyperloop One, as a company, began its journey.
As the team conducted smaller-scale tests where infrastructure was built in areas across Los Angeles, Pishevar was working with investors, raising millions of dollars in capital. $8.5 million. $80 million. $50 million.
In Las Vegas in 2016, a company named Metalworks became the first to manufacture Hyperloop components. A full-scale test track is built in Apex Nevada. India gets involved. World leaders gave the project it’s blessing.
More than a dozen countries promote possible routes, all in a rush to get Hyperloop Ones in their own backyards. This contest was called the Hyperloop One Global Challenge.
A handful of Hyperloop One Global Challenge finalists showed off their route ideas for America.
The grand plan? To connect 83 million Americans between 35 metro areas. The contest winners were revealed, with routes in the United Kingdom, India, Mexico, Canada and the United States planned.
In a strategic partnership between the Virgin Group and Hyperloop One, Branson takes the reins. After announcing a planned 25-minute route from Pune to Navi Mumbai International Airport to Mumbai, Hyperloop One is well on its way to becoming reality.
For Shervin Pishevar, the journey from a casual conversation in Cuba with the world’s leading technology entrepreneur, to an aggressive strategy that could see Hyperloop One tracks built all over the world within the next decade, has been an exciting one. And Pishevar, who loves creating real change in the world, wouldn’t have it any other way.
35/ Moonshot like SpaceX + Virgin Hyperloop One rise but they suffer derision until teams will it to reality. Exceptions to rule.
— Shervin Pishevar (@shervin) February 6, 2018