First European Hyperloop CollaborationFebruary 12, 2020
It seems that hyperloop companies have now started to appreciate the possibilities that a hyperloop network can present globally. Up to this point most of them were focusing on their own countries or even specific territories (e.g. the United States).
On February 11, 2020, in Brussels, European countries formed an initiative called JTC 20 which stands for Joint Technical Committee. It is the first collaboration or this sort in the world and it has been created to enable international standardisation of hyperloop transportation system.
This committee is a part of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC). Its main objective is to define, establish and standardise procedures and framework to create global regulations for hyperloop system. It is essential in order to ensure interoperability and high safety standards for this means of transport throughout Europe.
The consortium is comprised of three European firms, namely Dutch Hardt Hyperloop, Polish Hyper Poland and Spanish Zeleros along with one Canadian company – TransPod – which has its offices in Italy and France.
The proposal to establish this kind of committee came from the national standardisation organisations of Spain (UNE) and the Netherlands (NEN). It will consist of diverse groups, each working on different hyperloop component, like tube infrastructure or communication protocols.
The approach offered by those European countries shows that with this type of technology, the global point of view has to be considered. With a steady growth of hyperloop industry and a growing number of players entering the market, the differences between standards and operational principles could cause potential difficulties when transporting passengers and freight from one country to another. That is why JTC 20 is a good solution. It will help to mitigate potential challenges across the continent and hopefully, will result in reducing costs and time needed to adjust safety measures, infrastructure, rolling stock and signaling across borders.
At the same time, there are already plans for at least a few hyperloop research centres in the Netherlands, France, Poland and Spain. When finished, they will serve as research sites used to test and to validate the developed technologies and standards coming out of JTC 20. After a successful validation, a legislative proposal will be drawn up and presented to the European Parliament and Council of the European Union.