Tech Transformers

Hyperloop a 'viable' product that can be insured, study says

Key Points
  • Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) has a "viable" and insurable product, according to Munich Re
  • HTT and Munich Re have formed a strategic partnership
Concept art for a Hyperloop Transportation Technologies capsule

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), one of the companies developing Elon Musk's idea for super-fast transport, has a "viable" product which is insurable, according to one insurance giant.

The idea of the transport system — conceived in 2013 by Musk, the head of both electric automaker Tesla and SpaceX — works by propelling pods through tubes using magnets reaching speeds akin to those of airplanes.

Several companies are working to develop the idea.

Germany's Munich Re was tasked with carrying out a risk report of HTT's project and found it was feasible.

"Although as yet unproven in real-world testing, the Hyperloop technology is likely to be viable, and represents a realizable integrated system," Munich Re said in a report released on Tuesday.

"Munich Re believes that the Hyperloop proposition represents an insurable prospect that will embrace traditional risk transfer and yet-to-be-developed innovative responses to the HTT operating and capital model."

Many people have doubted whether a Hyperloop can even be built. Munich Re's assessment could give a boost to the project.

"Offering an insurable system is a massive milestone for this groundbreaking technology. As we move forward with commercialization of the system and our technology, our biggest challenge remains the creation of a new regulatory framework," Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of HTT, said in a press release on Tuesday.

Richard Branson: More likely I'll travel in space before traveling in Hyperloop

Munich Re did recognize that HTT's venture depends on being well funded and "sustaining the perception and trust of society."

The two companies are entering a strategic parntership in which Munich Re will provide HTT with risk-management related services.

HTT is not alone in developing Hyperloop technology. Virgin Hyperloop One, which recently raised money from Richard Branson's Virgin Group, is also competing.

Both companies have a number of studies ongoing in countries around the world to see if the project is viable.