European countries have agreed to create the joint technical committee (JTC), called JTC 20, which will be part of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC).
JTC 20’s goal is to define, establish, and standardise the methodology and framework to regulate hyperloop travel systems and ensure interoperability and high safety standards throughout Europe.
A consortium of European and Canadian hyperloop companies has been driving the initiative around international standardisation. The consortium comprises Hardt Hyperloop (from the Netherlands), Hyper Poland (from Poland), TransPod (from Canada, with offices in Italy and France), and Zeleros Hyperloop (from Spain).
The consortium expects that there will eventually be many disparate approaches to standards and operational principles as the hyperloop industry continues to grow. There could be a substantial potential impact on interoperability of infrastructure, rolling stock, signalling and other subsystems, making it difficult to transport passengers and freight from one country to another.
Hardt Hyperloop said that JTC 20 will help to mitigate potential challenges to implementation across the continent by developing common standards, specifications and approaches.
The proposal for the creation of the technical committee was a joint effort by the national standardisation organisations of Spain (UNE) and the Netherlands (NEN). JTC 20 will comprise working groups focusing on various components of hyperloop systems including vehicle systems, tube infrastructure and components, overall infrastructure and communications protocols.
The consortium of hyperloop companies will participate in the working groups along with members from various national standardisation organisations and experts from a variety of industries.
Concurrently, a network of hyperloop research centres is already in the planning stages and is slated to begin operation in the next few years, in France, Poland, Spain, and the Netherlands. They will serve as research sites for the testing and validation of the technologies and standards coming out of JTC 20. Following successful validation, the recommendations will be presented in a legislative proposal to be brought to the European Parliament and Council of the European Union.