If your are a tech geek you must have heard of the term “Hyperloop”, but do you know what it is ?
This technology could revolutionize travelling as never before. Here, we explain Musk’s vision for travelling using ultra-fast travel pods.
Hyperloop is a concept developed by Space X and Tesla founder Elon Musk for ultra-fast intercity transportation using travel pods, he calls it as the “fifth mode” of transportation in other than cars, planes, boats and train.
It is a freight transportation system that could reach speeds of around 1,210 km/h (752mph), in a pressurized floating pod which races inside a giant tube, having its own oxygen supply for on board passengers.
The pressure inside the tube is kept low to avoid any air drag.
The pod also consists of a compressor fan in front of it which will direct the high pressure air flow under the pod to help reduce further drag and also act as a cushion under the pod resulting in a smoother ride experience. The Hyperloop tubes will be mounted on quake-resistant pylons, so as to prevent any failure due to catastrophe like earthquake.
How will Hyperloop be powered ?
The pods will get their velocity from an external linear electric motor, effectively a round induction motor (like the one in the Tesla Model S) rolled flat. Under Musk’s model, the Hyperloop would be powered by solar panels placed on the top of the tube which would allow the system to generate more energy than it needs to run.
The Hyperloop Experience
Hyperloop routes would consist of steel tubes roughly 11 feet in diameter that would be positioned 100 feet (30 meters) high and can run along highway routes wherever possible.
Either way, the routes would have to be chosen carefully to avoid existing infrastructure like roads and buildings, and to make sure the routes take no sharp turns that could cause unpleasant jolts to passengers comfort.
When can you travel in Hyperloop ?
Many companies are working together to turn the idea into a functional commercial system.
Although still in development for many years, Giegel, Virgin Hyperloop’s CEO, predicts commercial operations as early as 2027 as the company is also what most people agree is the most promising company in the industry. It could be the first form of transport in 100 years to revolutionize travel. In short the hyperloop trips promise to be quiet, smooth and fast.
As of August 2021, currently Maharashtra, India promises to have its world’s first commercial hyperloop ready by 2029.
It will connect Mumbai to Pune a 160 Km stretch. Although India is not the only country seeking to pioneer hyperloop technology. Plans are being developed to link Dubai and Abu Dhabi with a hyperloop.
Mexico City and Guadalajara are also hoping to be one of the first to showcase the new technology.
India however, seems like a natural place for the technology to find its roots.
“India being the fastest growing global economy, It’s an ideal market to launch hyperloop technology.”, said Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director for Hyperloop One’s Middle East and India Region.
Hyperloop itself is still experimenting to find the best available pod technology. An entrant to the Space X Hyperloop Pod Competition 2019 managed to hit a top speed of 463 Kph (288 mph) on the company’s test track.
The future transport prospects for linking cities using maglev-like technologies are bright, whatever the future for the individual companies.
Its promised as an environment friendly, ultra-fast and potentially inexpensive way to travel.