So says outgoing U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, on the latest episode of Recode Decode.

If he had more time as America’s transportation secretary, Anthony Foxx says he would want to work on rail projects across the country.

“Far too few communities are really taking aggressive steps,” Foxx said on the latest episode of Recode Decode.

But in his three and a half years on the job, he has also contended with a potential private competitor to high-speed rail: Hyperloop, a tube-based travel system conceptualized in 2013 by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, which would carry passengers and freight at more than 700 miles per hour. Foxx said applying current railway regulations to Hyperloop “would be like putting a square peg in a round hole.”

“The technology, the science behind it, is very sound,” he said. “But it’s one of those examples of, the technology may be there before the government is.”

Unlike autonomous cars, which are similar enough to normal cars that the Department of Transportation has been able to start issuing federal guidelines, Hyperloop would require Congressional action before the DoT can “jump into it with two feet” and start making rules, he noted. And for that reason, as with drones, companies such as Hyperloop One may find it easier to start in other countries first.

“Getting the service is different than generating the ideas and generating the intellectual capital,” Foxx said. “We in the U.S., one of our greatest virtues and one of the biggest challenges for us, is that when new transportation technology is introduced, something like Hyperloop,

[they] say ‘We want to be first.’ A lot of the time, we say, ‘We want to be safest.’ And I think that’s a good thing for us.”

However, would Foxx ride in a Hyperloop if given the chance?

“I hope one day that I do,” he said. “I’m not going to go to the moon, but Hyperloop, I might do.”

You can listen to Recode Decode in the audio player above, or subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

If you like this show, you should also sample our other podcasts:

  • Recode Media with Peter Kafka features no-nonsense conversations with the smartest and most interesting people in the media world, with new episodes every Thursday. Use these links to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.
  • Too Embarrassed to Ask, hosted by Kara Swisher and The Verge’s Lauren Goode, answers the tech questions sent in by our readers and listeners. You can hear new episodes every Friday on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.
  • And Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events, including the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara.

Go to Source
Author: Eric Johnson

Powered by WPeMatico