Hyper­loop One set­tles co-founder law­suit

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

SAN FRAN­CISCO: Hyper­loop One on Fri­day said it set­tled a law­suit filed by a co-founder who ac­cused for­mer col­leagues of ne­po­tism, threats and mis­man­age­ment at the startup de­voted to rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing trans­port with su­per­speedy travel. “Hyper­loop One is pleased to an­nounce that it has reached a con­fi­den­tial res­o­lu­tion of lit­i­ga­tion with its for­mer em­ploy­ees and looks for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to ex­e­cute on its busi­ness plan,” a spokesman said in an email to AFP.

Co-founder Bro­gan BamBro­gan, who left the com­pany in June, was among oth­ers from the startup to file a civil suit in a Cal­i­for­nia state court. “It be­came ap­par­ent that those in con­trol of the com­pany con­tin­u­ally used the work of the team to aug­ment their per­sonal brands, en­hance their ro­man­tic lives and line their pock­ets,” the law­suit said. Orin Sny­der, an at­tor­ney rep­re­sent­ing Hyper­loop One, re­sponded at the time by call­ing the law­suit an “un­for­tu­nate and delu­sional” ef­fort by em­ploy­ees be­hind a failed coup at the startup.

The case was filed just months af­ter Hyper­loop One held its first pub­lic test in the desert out­side Las Ve­gas, try­ing out en­gine com­po­nents de­signed to zip pods that carry peo­ple or cargo through tubes at speeds of 700 miles per hour or more. The com­pany hopes to re­al­ize a fu­tur­is­tic vi­sion for trans­porta­tion at near-su­per­sonic speeds laid out three years ago by bil­lion­aire Elon Musk, the en­tre­pre­neur be­hind elec­tric car com­pany Tesla and pri­vate space ex­plo­ration en­deavor Space X. “Law­suits can be dis­tract­ing for com­pa­nies; they of­ten halt mo­men­tum un­til they can be re­solved,” Hyper­loop One chief ex­ec­u­tive Rob Lloyd said in a staff memo, a copy of which was ob­tained by AFP. “That didn’t hap­pen here.”

Dubai this month said it is col­lab­o­rat­ing with Hyper­loop One to look into the fea­si­bil­ity of con­struct­ing a near-su­per­sonic trans­port link that could slash travel times to Emi­rati cap­i­tal Abu Dhabi to min­utes. The deal will see both par­ties ex­plore a route for a vac­uum-sealed pod trans­porta­tion sys­tem, which could po­ten­tially cut travel be­tween Dubai and Abu Dhabi - 90 miles apart-to around 12 min­utes. The startup says the sys­tem of­fers bet­ter safety than pas­sen­ger jets, lower build and main­te­nance costs than high-speed trains, and en­ergy us­age, per per­son, that is sim­i­lar to a bi­cy­cle. Last month, port colos­sus DP World Group of Dubai an­nounced it was in­vest­ing in the con­cept, join­ing back­ers in­clud­ing French na­tional rail com­pany SNCF, US in­dus­trial con­glom­er­ate Gen­eral Elec­tric and Rus­sian state fund RDIF. Hyper­loop One has so far raised more than $160 mil­lion (145 mil­lion euros).

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