A Los Angeles-based company called Hyperloop One is presently developing technology for a futuristic transit system. It has now raised an additional $50 million as it prepares for a full-scale test of its Hyperloop system in early 2017. A Hyperloop Transit System involves using magnets to levitate pods inside an airless tube, creating conditions in which the floating pods could shuttle people and cargo at speeds of up to 750 mph or 1,200 kph. Hyperloop intends for ships to dock 10 miles offshore around off-loading platforms that look like oil rigs. The tubes than fast transport the containers to the port area that can either be above ground or underground, since the tubes will all be underwater. Hyperloop One got its latest round of funding from the DP World Group of Dubai. The additional investment of $50 million now takes its total funding to $160 million. The concept originated from a paper by Chief Executive Elon Musk of Tesla Motors back in 2013. He envisioned the system taking passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.
DP World Group, whose chief executive will soon be sitting inside the board of Hyperloop One, signed an agreement with the company in August to explore the Hyperloop Transit System to move containers from ships docked at its flagship Port of Jebel Ali to a new inland container depot in Dubai. DP World Group is the third largest port and terminal operator in the world. The Jebel Ali port is the busiest port in the Middle East as it is located in Dubai, UAE, smack in the middle of the Persian Gulf. The Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One has already previously been provided funding from other top venture companies such as 137 Ventures, Khosla Ventures, the French National Rail Company, and GE Ventures. Former Uber Chief Financial Officer Brent Callinicos was also appointed as a full-time adviser to Hyperloop One Chief Executive Rob Lloyd and the board.
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There is currently no functioning Hyperloop technology anywhere in the world, and skeptics wonder if the technology can ever make the leap from science fiction to reality. However, if the project does prove a success, it could forever change the speed and method of moving containers from ships. The technology will also make it possible to use Hyperloop technology over land for faster cargo movements from one city to the other. It could also change the face of passenger transit as the need to de-clutter traffic from major thoroughfares is a major problem in cities throughout the world. Presently, however, Hyperloop One is not without facing its own internal controversies. Brogan BamBrogan, co-founder and former chief technology officer, and several other employees are currently suing Hyperloop One on claims that the company executives allegedly misused funds, breached their trustee-beneficiary relationships, violated California labor code, and even assaulted at least one employee. The defendants in the case that include Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and chairman, and CEO Robert Lloyd, filed a counter lawsuit accusing BamBrogan and the other employees of manufacturing a rebellion in an attempt to seize control of the company.