Arrivo Arrives In Denver — Sort of
In all the talk about The Boring Company, Hyperloop One, and Hyperloop Technologies, tiny Arrivo often gets lost in the shuffle. It was started by Brogan BamBrogan, a former engineer at SpaceX who left to help found Hyperloop One together with Shervin Pishevar. The two had an epic falling out in 2016. BamBrogan stormed out the door and filed a dramatic lawsuit against the company and his former partner alleging breach of fiduciary duty, violating labor laws, wrongful termination, breach of contract, defamation, infliction of emotional distress, and assault, according to Wired.
Now, BamBrogan — whose name came about when he and wife Bambi Liu decided to do a name mashup rather than hyphenate them as ordinary people do — has announced that Arrivo has signed a deal with the Colorado Department of Transportation to develop a “hyperloop inspired system” that will whisk people and cargo between Denver and Boulder in 10 minutes. It normally takes more than an hour to complete the journey.
The big news is in that phrase “hyperloop inspired system.” The Arrivo system will really be more like an enclosed HOV lane than a depressurized tunnel. Covering it is really only to keep dogs and small children away from the workings. The graphic visualization presented by the company bear a striking resemblance to the electric sleds Elon Musk and The Boring Company have showcased in recent public presentations. According to Wired, BamBrogan says building a tube and keeping it in a near-vacuum state is simply too complicated and expensive to make it worth trying.
“The value is not necessarily the top speed for us,” says BamBrogan. “The real value is going point-to-point, no traffic.” Maximum speed of the Arrivo plan is projected to be 200 mph. “If I want to travel really fast between two cities in a low pressure environment inside a metal tube, I would use an airplane,” he says slyly. “They’re very efficient, the ride is smooth, the orange juice is free.”
The company expects to build an engineering and technology center in Aurora, Colorado which will have about 200 employees by the year 2020. The plan is to build a test site running alongside the E-470 toll road that connects Denver to the airport. Arrivo has formed a partnership with AECOM, one of the world’s largest construction firms, to help build the test facility. Funding will come partly from the E-470 public highway authority, partly from the state of Colorado, and partly from Arrivo’s own corporate coffers.
Wired describes the proposed Arrivo system as being similar to the high speed maglev trains currently operating in Japan and China but details about how the system will work have not yet been made public. Arrivo says it hopes to have its first commercial system operational in four to five years time.
Many people say that getting to their destination at supersonic speeds is less of a concern than having access to a system that reduces congestion, moves fairly quickly, operates reliably, and can be relied on to run on time. The Arrivo “hyperloop inspired system” may tick most of those boxes.