The moment Deborah Navarro heard about Hyperloop, Elon Musk’s idea for a high-speed transit system straight out of science fiction, she saw a radical way of connecting communities while minimizing the environmental and climate impact of moving people around the planet.
Making that happen has become a mission for the 28-year-old entrepreneur, who was selected for this year’s Grist 50 list of emerging leaders in climate, sustainability, and equity. Navarro cofounded the New York startup AirLev, and the student-led research groups Texas Guadaloop and MIT Hyperloop III, to develop Hyperloop technology. “If you want to see where the future is, you see where the transit is,” she says.
Hyperloop is Musk’s vision of a network of trainlike capsules that would carry people and cargo through tubes at nearly 700 mph. It relies on electric propulsion to minimize emissions and near-vacuum conditions to reduce drag. The system is, in theory, more efficient than planes, trains, and automobiles. Several organizations, from college engineering clubs to companies employing hundreds of engineers, have been developing proposals and prototypes. “The que... Read more