A newcomer in the European transport standardization family: JTC 20 on hyperloop systems 

In a world where mobility is a cornerstone of global trade, work, tourism and leisure activities, providing efficient and safe transport infrastructure is a challenge. Connecting efficiently dense and complex cities or remotes regions requires a constant capacity of integrating new technologies. At the side of traditional game players, new actors of mobility emerge, sometimes with disruptive impact. CEN and CENELEC are engaged in facilitating the harmonized deployment of both traditional and innovative transport technologies, by improving compatibility, connectivity and sustainability.

In this context, CEN and CENELEC are proud to announce the launch of a new Joint Technical Committee, CEN/CLC/JTC 20, dedicated to hyperloop systems standardization. Hyperloop is a ground-based high-speed transportation system for passengers, living and/or non-living stock, in which vehicles are suspended through contactless means and travel inside a sealed, confined reduced pressure environment. With potential benefits on safety, time-saving, greenhouses gases emissions reduction, and economic value, this technology begins progressively to be on the spotlight. 

As several European and International industries are investing in hyperloop systems with the interest of both private and public actors, European standardization is crucial to achieve a coherent roll-out of this new tool of mobility. Thanks to their extensive experience in transport standardization, CEN and CENELEC have recently been devoted to play a major role in the development of future hyperloop standards.

A first step was taken in June 2018, when 4 of the 6 private hyperloop initiatives signed a cooperation agreement in Brussels to work in a coordinated way together with the institutions to define common standards and regulations for hyperloop. At the end of 2019, NEN and UNE, the national standardization bodies of the Netherlands and Spain, collectively submitted a project of creation of a Joint TC to the CEN and CENELEC Technical Board, which finally approved it on 5 February.

Because hyperloop systems are at the crossroads between several transport technologies, the new Joint TC will also benefit from the experience of the rail, space and pressure equipment standardization in which CEN and CENELEC are very active through Standardization requests issued by the European Commission. In this sense, the new TC will soon establish exchanges with several other technical groups, such as CEN/TC 256 ‘Railways applications’.  

For more information, please contact Marc-Antoine Carreira da Cruz


Article date: 2020-02-05