Geely has reached an agreement with the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC) to develop supersonic trains that seem very similar to the Hyperloop system conceived by Tesla’s Elon Musk.
Reuters reports that the strategic framework agreement between the two companies will see magnetic levitation combined with vacuum tubes to reduce air resistance and achieve a hypersonic mode of transportation.
CASIC claims that it is developing a system that can shuttle trains in vacuum tubes at speeds of up to 1000 km/h (620 mph) and that it is also studying technologies that could see trains travel as fast as 4000 km/h (2485 mph) in the future. China ultimately wants to build a comprehensive transport network of supersonic trains.
Neither Geely nor CASIC offered details on their investment in the project or issued a timeframe for when the high-speed trains could become a reality.
“Technologies developed through the realization of supersonic trains will help Geely Holding advance the fields of new energy vehicles, automotive safety, and new material science,” a statement from Geely said.
The proposed system is very similar to the Hyperloop systems being developed by a number of companies in the United States. This system also uses magnetic levitation and vacuum tubes with the ultimate goal of accelerating passenger pods to top speeds of 1220 km/h (760 mph).
As the development of such supersonic trains is at such an early stage, the long-term viability and safety of such modes of transport remain unclear. Consequently, don’t expect Geely or the likes of Virgin Hyperloop One to have fully-functional supersonic train services for a number of years.