Hyper Poland is developing a Hyperloop-inspired ultra-high speed upgrade to conventional railways.
- Warsaw, Poland
Categories: Automotive & Transport Non-Digital B2B
Hyper Poland aims to develop a disruptive upgrade for the railway industry – fully autonomous, electric vehicles for goods and passengers that can travel at ultra-high speeds of over 1,000 kph (620 mph) on specially designed infrastructure by using magnetic levitation and low-pressure environment.
Our technology is inspired by the Hyperloop - envisioned by Elon Musk as a hybrid of railways and aviation. But while some see it as a disruptor for both industries, we consider it to be the ideal upgrade for existing railways.
We aim for our technology to be compatible with existing railway corridors, thus we expect that it will significantly reduce construction costs and regulatory risks. With our three-stage approach (magrail - hyperrail - hyperloop), we believe that we can considerably shorten the time-to-market compared to an instantaneous Hyperloop implementation and allow railway operators to gradually transition their business.
Thanks to our commercialisation strategy we expect that the first stage (magrail) will be implemented in 2022.
Today, the vast majority of freight transport in the EU is by road with heavy-duty vehicles. HDVs are slow, heavy polluters and prone to traffic congestion. With the forecasted rapid growth of the goods transportation market, this trend causes serious problems for the environment, safety, infrastructure wear, and society. Moreover, freight rail transport has seen a steady decline over the past decades due to its very low average speed, and lack of flexibility. Air transport is expensive, has limited capacities and is environmentally problematic.
Our solution aims to combine the speed of airplanes, the just-in-time availability of HDVs and the environmental friendliness of railways within one mode of transport. With the phased approach and compatibility with existing railway corridors, we expect that our solution can be introduced much quicker than full-scale Hyperloop infrastructures.
Later stages of the system will tackle the issue of passenger travel dominated by cars and airplanes.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Hyper Poland was incorporated in April 2017 and it participated in an acceleration program with the Polish Post.
Our student team built the first CEE Hyperloop vehicle prototype (four-meter-long), which was sent to California for tests during the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition II in 2017. The team also took part in the first contest in Texas in 2016.
In 2018 we focused primarily on shortening the time-to-market. We are pioneering technology to gradually upgrade existing railways to a Hyperloop standard. At first, we aim to operate on existing railway tracks up to a max. speed: 300 kph (while keeping the functionality of conventional railways). Then we aim to upgrade it into a vacuum system (up to 600 kph/370 mph on existing tracks and 1,200 kph/745 mph on new routes).
Until now, we have submitted a total of 6 patent applications.
We have developed strong relationships with key industry players such as the Railway Research Institute in Warsaw (certification body for the railway industry) and LOT Polish Airways. We have conducted talks with potential indirect customers and end-users.
Moreover, we have put together an impressive international Advisory Board, including globally renowned experts in logistics, infrastructure, electromagnetism and clean-tech from Poland, Israel, USA, and Lithuania.
We have won numerous awards, including BIM for Innovation Award – Build Earth Live, Dubai 2016 and we have been covered in the media more than 200 times.
We develop Intellectual Property (IP) which we will protect with patents. We expect it to be licensed to:
1. manufacturers of rolling stock,
2. railway infrastructure elements’ manufacturers,
3. optionally also to Hyperloop companies (technology of linear electric motor and passive magnetic levitation).
We expect a 12% licensing fee (of manufacturers profits on licensed elements) from 2 segments:
1. elements of propulsion and suspension for vehicles.
2. elements of linear infrastructure, including:
a. magrail on ballasted track (integrators and magnetic track) – which we expect to start from 2024,
b. magrail on a concrete slab (linear motor and magnetic track) - which we expect to start from 2025,
c. hyperrail on a concrete slab (linear motor, magnetic track, and vacuum covers) - which we expect to start from 2027.
Alternatively, we might go into Joint Ventures (JVs) with manufacturers.
We aim that within 10 years the company will be acquired by one of the leading railway manufacturers.
Use of proceeds
The money will be used to deliver the first physical Proof of Concept (PoC) of our technology. Spending categories:
Equipment & Software - ca. 7%.
Technical Development - ca. 31%.
Personnel - ca. 22%.
Marketing - ca. 12%.
Operations - ca. 6%.
IP protection - ca. 2%.
Provision for unexpected expenses is budgeted for 20% of the total budget.
With this campaign target amount we aim to build - within the Technical Development category - a ca. 48 m long 1:5 scale PoC of the track with a pod prototype. We expect that providing a physical demonstration of the technology will help to negotiate first pilots, generate additional patent applications, raise more funds and unlock some equity-free EU instruments.
With the total pre-seed round amount (EUR 1,2 million) we aim to build a full-scale (1:1) 500+ m long prototype of the track and pod ( which we expect will be co-financed with a public grant). We expect that it will allow us to get into the certification phase of the magrail system and start pilots and subsequently sales.
Please note that the company has director loans of €5,465. The funds raised will not be used to repay these loans.