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.”


Arrivo’s proposed high-speed transport system would run slower than hyperloop but be more efficient for shorter distances. Some projected times in minutes between downtown Denver or Denver International Airport and a nearby city:

9: DIA to downtown

8: Boulder to Denver

6: Lone Tree to Denver

11: Denver Tech Center and DIA

Source: Arrivo

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 worse. That’s why CDOT is involved and saying, ‘Come work with us. Build out your test track here,’ ” Bhatt said. “It is futuristic. But just like Hyperloop One that has a test track in Nevada, they’re hitting their milestones with technology development. Arrivo believes in nearer to the future, not 30 years from now but the next few years.”

The E-470 Public Highway Authority, which is preapproved to expand the toll roads to four lanes in both directions, is letting Arrivo build its test track on about a half mile of land near an abandoned toll plaza, BamBrogan said. The site also will be used as an engineering playground for Arrivo and complement a separate research and development office to open in Commerce City. Such roads would ultimately support much more traffic, or up to 20,000 vehicles per lane per hour compared with today’s 3,000 on a “well functioning freeway,” he said.


Arrivo’s founders. With his signature mustache, …Courtesy of ArrivoArrivo’s founders. With his signature mustache, Brogan BamBrogan is the man in the middle wearing a vest.

Via Denver Post