Cloud-based signalling keeps hyperloop on track

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HyperloopTT and Hitachi Rail have developed a proof-of-concept cloud-based ERTMS signalling system for the high-speed capsules that will operate on HyperloopTT’s transportation solution.


HyperloopTT is developing hyperloop, a system that moves people and goods at ground level at airplane speeds inside tubes. The company’s pressurised capsules are being designed to float on a frictionless magnetic cushion inside the tubes at up to 1,200km/h.

The digital simulator allows for the integrated testing of traffic management, signalling and some of the physical safety requirements of the hyperloop system.

In a statement, Leonardo Impagliazzo, chief director of innovation, Hitachi Rail, said: “Our digital signalling technology is used in the USA & Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia to help safely move millions of passengers every day. This partnership allows us to evolve our best-in-class signalling and automation systems and to customize it for HyperloopTT’s super high-speed transport. We are excited about this achievement and are looking ahead to the next stage of the programme.”

By replacing the capabilities of complex physical equipment with cloud-based software, the solution is claimed to offer greater reliability, greater flexibility in deployment, cuts maintenance costs and is more sustainable. The simulator can also help to make HyperloopTT more efficient by automating repetitive tasks and detecting and managing potential disruptions.

The system is based on ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) and ETCS L2 (European Train Control System Level 2) signalling technology to simulate the regulation and control of capsules moving at very high speeds.

Having completed the simulation model the next step in the process is to digitally integrate the signalling infrastructure and the cloud-based model for the physical capsules, which would lead to physical testing of the whole system at HyperloopTT’s test track in Toulouse.

Andres De Leon, CEO of HyperloopTT said: “Hitachi Rail’s experience in installing, maintaining, and monitoring traffic management systems in the rail industry is second to none. We’re delighted to have collaborated with them on this cutting-edge simulation of ERTMS and ECTS systems on our hyperloop which takes us one step closer to achieving our goal of creating the world’s fastest, most efficient, and most affordable end-to-end transportation solution.”

Hitachi Rail originally announced its technology partnership with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies in December 2020 with the objective to integrate hyperloop’s capsule traveling system with Hitachi Rail’s ERTMS.