Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the Chinese automaker that controls the Volvo and Lotus brands, on Tuesday announced plans to develop a hyperloop-like train capable of supersonic speeds. That means in excess of 767 mph.
The train will use magnetic levitation to eliminate ground friction and vacuum tubes to reduce air resistance, which is the same concept as the hyperloop.
Magnetic levitation, commonly referred to as maglev, is already in use in China. In fact, the country has the most operational maglev tracks in the world.
Geely will work with China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) to develop the train. The two are already working on several projects including the development of Internet-related technologies for industrial applications. Geely is providing its expertise in manufacturing and commercial operations, enabling CASIC to maximize its strengths in R&D.
Geely said the project will not only result in a new mode of transport but also help advanced other fields such as material science and other technologies that could prove beneficial to the auto industry. The automaker sees itself transformation into a mobility and technology company. In addition to manufacturing cars, Geely is also involved in the fields of low-orbit satellites, vehicle microchips, car networking, and even flying cars, the latter via its acquisition last year of America's Terrafugia.
Other companies working on hyperloop-like transport systems include Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Virgin Hyperloop One. Currently, only Virgin Hyperloop One has demonstrated a functioning hyperloop system, though at speeds of only 240 mph and on a very short track.