Startup emerges from Elon Musk’s Hyperloop competition


Swisspod aims to make the Hyperloop concept a reality in Switzerland. Both founders - CEO Denis Tudor and CTO Cyril Dénéréaz – have won multiple prices including Best Design, Innovation, Speed and Most Reliable System at competitions organized by SpaceX between 2016 and 2018.


Hyperloop is a new mode of high-speed transportation. Passengers or cargo are loaded into the Hyperloop vehicle and accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The vehicle quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag. Since 2015 a number of student teams took part in an annual competition sponsored by Elon Musk’s SpaceX designing and building subscale prototypes of the vehicles, the so called pods. In the meantime start-ups in several countries emerged from the competition. Now Switzerland has a Hyperloop start-up too. The goal of Swisspod is to make Hyperloop a reality in Switzerland. The first line should connect Geneva and Zürich in 17 minutes and for an aggregated energy cost of CHF6 per passenger. The project enables transportation both of passengers (600 people forecasted per hour each way from Geneva to Zurich with a pod leaving every 3 minutes) and of cargo thus aiming at revolutionizing urbane and extra-urbane mobility as a whole. The anticipated costs of infrastructure per kilometer are close to those of high speed trains. The concept will ring a bell for some tech-enthusiasts who recall the 1992 adventure Swissmetro. Swisspod sees itself as Swissmetro’s righteous successor and has the pleasure to count its then-founder Professor Marcel Jufer as one of its key advisors. The next steps are the making of a human-scale Proof of Concept, the model of which is under careful elaboration in collaboration with well-known infrastructure companies and the subsequent building of a first test-line in Switzerland. To support this upcoming phase of its development, Swisspod has launched a fully sustainable merchandising campaign. (Press release / SK)