Hyperloop: All You Need To Know About The Fastest Mode Of Public Transport
Before you wonder what the Hyperloop is, ask yourself this. How would it feel like to travel a distance of 150 kilometres in less than 15 minutes? Or covering a distance of 600 km in less than an hour? This sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but in fact, it is a joint venture by the Space research and aerospace organization, SpaceX and electric automobile manufacturer, Tesla. The functional part is that it is a proposed mode of public transportation which can help people and cargo transit in small pods through vacuum tubes. The fun part is that the speeds inside the tube could exceed 600 miles per hour. Let that sink in.
About The Hyperloop One
The concept of the Hyperloop was promoted by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink. Basically, the Hyperloop works by impelling the wheel-less pods through a tube which is maintained at near-vacuum or extremely low pressure. It ensures minimal air resistance and friction, implying that the power needed to propel such a pod is reduced massively. Magnetic Levitation or MAGLEV is the technology that ensures ‘zero contact’ between the pod and the tracks. As stated by the company, the pod glides at airline-like speeds for long distances, thanks to very low aerodynamic drag. The Hyperloop is currently being funded by organizations like DP World, Caspian VC and the Virgin Group. Till date, the project has raised almost US$295 million.
Safety Concerns Regarding Travel
Quite a fair amount of concerns surround the technology. For instance, questions arose regarding the construction of the tubes and the safety issues that accompany them. As per the company, Hyperloop is completely weatherproof, with tubes that can withstand almost 100 Pa of pressure without getting punctured. The tubes are made out of thick strong steel, and can safely stand strong against any forms of weather disturbances. In the rare case that there is any leak in the tube, a power boost would get the pod to the next station. Environmental concerns are not going to be a problem, the company states. It reports that carbon emissions are almost zero and the only sound you’ll hear from the pod travelling through the tube is a silent ‘whoosh’, something that you might hear when something fast passes by your ear.
Hyperloop’s Plans In India
The Hyperloop ‘one’ completed its first test ride successfully in July 2017. Currently, the company is initiating developmental stage oriented projects in India and Ohio. In July 2018, the Indian state of Maharashtra expressed their intent to construct a hyperloop route between Mumbai and Pune, which would enable a pod to cover the distance in under 25 minutes. Phase 1 of the demonstration is already underway, with the company already constructing experimental tubes and planning to complete a 7-mile (11.2 km) long tube soon.
According to the company, India has a multitude of factors that make it ideally suited to a Hyperloop system. It has a low cost manufacturing base, strong political support, excellent engineering talent and above all, infrastructure demands. The Hyperloop will be even more functional than metros and subways, as people will be able to travel between cities in the time that it takes to travel within a city.
The company believes that it will achieve extensive Hyperloop connectivity in different cities across the world by mid-2020s. India based DGWHyperloop suggests a Hyperloop corridor between Mumbai and Delhi, that would include the cities of Indore, Kota and Jaipur. A lot of certifications are still pending for this futuristic mode of transport, the company claims. Apart from transporting people, it can also make transporting goods faster than it ever was. Logistics will benefit a lot from the Hyperloop network. The company assures that once Hyperloop is on the roll, the tickets will be affordable as far as the pricing is concerned.
India is on the track to be host to one of the earliest Hyperloop networks in the world, with the first test ride to be implemented in an upcoming couple of years. Are you excited about it? Share your views with us in the comments below.