Wonder what it’ll be like to ride a Hyperloop system from a passenger perspective? We know the trains will move really, really fast – but how will we interface with them, plan trips and book tickets? That’s what mapping company HERE and Virgin Hyperloop One want to preview with their new concept passenger app.
The app, which debuted at CES 2018 in Las Vegas today, allows users to plan their trip, book the ticket and even virtually pay using the app. The concept experience is designed not only for Hyperloop travel, but for your whole journey, so it also includes incorporation of ride-hailing services like Lyft’s which will help make sure passengers can enjoy a door-to-door travel experience.
It even builds in walking directions, and points of interest. The concept demo isn’t just for fun, either – Virgin Hyperloop One plans to actually ship the app to the public starting later this year. It’s in part a way to show what it’ll be like to use the eventual Hyperloop networks that Virgin Hyperloop One hopes to build, and part preparing the way with a software experience that’s useful right now for travelers.
Virgin Hyperloop One says that the app shows how its ambitions aren’t only about building a really fast, near-vacuum train (as if that wasn’t ambitious enough). Instead, it’s also about building an “end-to-end passenger experience” which includes “no waiting at any point along the journey” according to the company’s SVP of software engineering Matt Jones.
Passengers using the app will be able to optimize their route based on what’s going to get them there fastest; what will be most cost-effective; and even what might be the most ecological sound means of getting from point A to point B.
The cruelest thing about this app, however, is that it also shows you the time it would take to get from point A to point B by Hyperloop – a faster trip which is, however, still sadly speculative for now.