Great Lakes Hyperloop Topic of Virtual Seminar Oct. 23

October 21, 2020 | News, UToday, Engineering
By Christine Billau

Technology Takes the Wheel is going virtual for its first event of the 2020-21 academic year to discuss a proposed Great Lakes Hyperloop that would whisk passengers between Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh in minutes though vacuum tubes using green technology.

The conversation about ultra-high-speed travel titled “Are You Ready for the Transportation Revolution?” is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, on Webex.

Hyperloop technology uses magnetic levitation and vacuum pumps to propel passengers and cargo in a pod through a tube at speeds reaching 700 miles per hour.

“The future is more than planes, trains and automobiles, and it’s closer than you think,” Dr. Mike Toole, dean of the UToledo College of Engineering, said. “As technologies and engineering systems rapidly evolve, Toledo is in a unique position to help drive innovation. What we learn about the Hyperloop could have spillover effects to regional initiatives in advanced manufacturing, digital healthcare and other industries.”

Speakers and panelists, who will discuss the engineering and technology challenges of building a Hyperloop as well as the regional planning and economic impact of such a project, include:

• Chuck Michael, regulatory advisor and U.S. feasibility studies lead engineer for Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc.;

• Grace Gallucci, executive director of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, the metropolitan planning agency for Greater Cleveland;

• David Gedeon, vice president of transportation for the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments;

• Alexander E. Metcalf, president of Transportation Economics and Management Systems, Inc.; and

• Gary Thompson, executive vice president of Regional Growth Partnership.

This is the eighth event in the seminar series that began two years ago as a partnership between the UToledo College of Engineering and AAA Northwest Ohio. The seminar series has engaged technical experts, University students and faculty, and the broader community in conversations about evolving driver-assist and autonomous vehicle technologies; technology and safety challenges; and potential societal impacts on roll-out and adoption.

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