Forecasting the Success of Hyperloop Technology on Italian Routes: A Broad Feasibility Study

Large Infrastructure Projects, also referred as Large Engineering Projects (or LEPs), are often controversial due to the fact that standard cost-benefit analysis and other economic evaluations are in most cases negative because of their high implementation cost and their high level of risk related to the high level of uncertainty and innovation they bring with them. Anyway, in the last decades, the investment on LEPs in increasing all over the world (Flyvjierg, B., 2014), and the construction of LEPs is still considered a basic leverage to increase the wealth of nations. The topic is particularly relevant at EU level. In fact the decision-making process on which infrastructure (LEP) should be funded and which not by the public sector has beed criticized by new “sovranist” political parties. For example, studies both in favour and against the funding of the same infrastructure have been published by different academics, even belonging to the same institution (Ponti, M. et al., 2019) (Cantarella, G.E., et al., 2019). In the last few weeks there is a lot of discussion in Italy about the feasibility of an Hyperloop, that is “a sealed tube or system of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction conveying people or objects at high speed while being very efficient, thereby drastically reducing travel times over medium-range distances” (Opgenoord, Max M. J., 2019). In particular, six possible route have been drafted, e.g. Milan-Rome, Milan Cadorna Station-Milan Malpensa Airport, Verona-Trieste and others. The authors want to evaluate the economic feasibility of that revolutionary transpiration mode, applying a broad approach, according both to the indications of the European Commission's Guide and to the Cost-Benefit Analysis of Investment Projects (2014), including either ordinary costs and benefits, and evaluating also the innovation benefits that such transportation mode, if implemented, will bring: considering for the evaluation such a transportation mode as, for example, an ordinary high speed train mode, won’t be correct, because implementing it will cause innovation in several and different technologic fields and in the transportation sector as a whole, and these benefits must be encompassed in the analysis. In addition, the authors will evaluate other success criteria such as the one indicated by Atkinson, R. (1999), i.e. “stakeholder benefits against which projects can be assessed”. Including the approach provided by Turner and Zolin (2012) of taking into account multiple perspectives by multiple stakeholders over multiple time frames: in Large Engineering Projects “How different stakeholders perceive success can change with time, and so the project manager needs leading performance indicators that go beyond the traditional triple constraint to forecast how key stakeholders will perceive success months or even years later” (Turner and Zolin, 2012). Starting with a standard Cost-Benefit Analysis, the authors will include benefits of technological innovation. Then the analysis will be address to stakeholders perspectives on the infrastructure over time. In In conclusion, the authors will make a balance on the feasibility of the hyperloop technology, analyzing which indicators are the most relevant to assess the positive or negative feasibility of it.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 31p
  • Monograph Title: European Transport Conference 2020

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01766121
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 9 2021 2:32PM