The start-up behind Denver's 200-mph Hyperloop system: 'We love regulation'

  • Arrivo has agreed to build a transportation network in Denver inspired by a technology called Hyperloop.
  • It would be a 200 mile-per-hour transit system that would get anywhere in the Denver metro area in 20 minutes or less, for the same cost as a toll road.

Start-up co-founder Brogan BamBrogan has an unusual stance on the futuristic technology he's building — he really wants to work with regulators.

"We absolutely want to be safe," BamBrogan told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Monday. "We love regulation, we just want the right regulations."

BamBrogan is the co-founder of Arrivo, which has agreed to build a transportation network in Denver inspired by a technology called Hyperloop. Hyperloop, a brainchild of Elon Musk is "a tube over or under the ground that contains a special environment," theoretically magnetic or similar to the pneumatic tubes used to send mail and packages within and between buildings (with some major technical challenges).

There's a cooperative relationship between Arrivo and the Colorado Department of Transportation. The two entities will conduct Arrivo's feasibility study together. It's a markedly different response than Silicon Valley's famous "move fast and break things" mentality which has at times pitted it against regulators.

Illustration provided by Arrivo and Colorado Department of Transportation.
Illustration provided by Arrivo and Colorado Department of Transportation.

Los Angeles-based Arrivo is one of many start-ups working on the technology. (Former SpaceX engineer BamBrogan cut his teeth at another start-up, Hyperloop One, which made headlines for a high-profile lawsuit unrelated to the core technology.)

In Arrivo's case, the technology is an "enclosed, electromagnetic superhighway" that "uses magnetic levitation to make the vehicles float, and electric power to move them forward." The effect, BamBrogan said, would be a 200 mile-per-hour transit system that would get anywhere in the Denver metro area in 20 minutes or less, for the same cost as a toll road.

"Autonomous cars are coming, connected autonomous cars are coming, we think that's going to increase the desire for people to move on the freeways," BamBrogan said. "People are urbanizing."

Colorado's population grew 145 percent from 1970 to 2015, according to demographic data crunched by the Denver Post, and is expected to explode by 2050. But infrastructure — roads, convenient housing, transit — have struggled to keep up in the state's capital.

Gov. John Hickenlooper cited population growth in a statement of support for the project.

"I don't think we're going to have to encourage people to use it," BamBrogan said. "I don't know too many people that want to spend more time in traffic."