Colorado will be the site of a first-of-its-kind test track for a futuristic transportation system that could one day whisk passengers from downtown Denver to Boulder in eight minutes.
Arrivo, a Los Angeles startup, will partner with the Colorado Department of Transportation to build the half-mile track alongside the E-470 tollway near Denver International Airport, and open a research and development center in Commerce City. Arrivo is one of a new breed of high-tech companies, including the speedier and better-funded Virgin Hyperloop One, attempting to bypass road congestion with dedicated tracks for faster travel.
“We’re calling it the High Speed Super Urban Network, which isn’t as good as (the term) hyperloop. But we’re a pack of engineers. We’re open for branding,” said Arrivo co-founder Brogan BamBrogan. “Really, our focus is on ending traffic. That should be catchy enough for anybody, especially in Denver.”
From hosting the first autonomous beer-delivery truck to becoming a finalist for the global Hyperloop One competition, Colorado’s reputation as a place to test new transportation technologies is on the rise as the state’s transportation department looks to tech to deal with a rising population, increased traffic deaths and the pretty much the same annual budget. Its executive director, Shailen Bhatt, said the state has a responsibility to explore all potential technologies that could alleviate congestion, keep citizens safer and offer a better alternative to 1950s fixes of widening or repairing roads.
“The reason we’re partnering with Arrivo is the congestion in Colorado is only getting…