What if a distance of 150 km which takes an hour by flight, be covered within 20 minutes ? Sounds impossible right ! well thanks to Hyperloop which will allow people to travel nearly at the speed of sound. It is the future of transportation system which will reduce the time and cost of our journey and unlock other business growths worldwide.
Hyperloop was first proposed by Elon Musk (CEO) of SpaceX who described it as “the fifth mode of transport”. With an estimated price tag of around 6 billion dollars and lack of time then, Musk’s plan was never executed . Hence he wanted the concept of Hyperloop to be “open source” so that scientists and other companies could come up with better implementations and ideas .
Hyperloop concept operates on sending “pods” or “capsules” which will carry passengers through a partial vacuum tube at supersonic speed. Current hyperloop technology combines two basic principles, the first being Magnetic Levitation which uses a pair of magnets one to repel the pod from the track , lifting the pod upwards and the other to move the floating pod across the tube at considerable speeds. The second principle comprises the low pressure vacuum tubes to allow passenger pods to travel through thereby reducing friction from both air and ground beneath. The air pressure inside the tubes are equivalent to flying an airplane 200,000 feet above sea level creating an environment to allow pods travel at speeds close to 760 mph.
The two leading companies working to make this dream come possible are- Virgin Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transporting Technologies (HTT).
Virgin Hyperloop One successfully conducted a test in May 2017 at its 500m vacuum tube built in Nevada where it achieved a speed of 240 mph . The company has received a whooping investment of $245 million till date and plans to begin constructing the first route by 2019 and open it to passengers by 2021.
HTT has already started building the first passenger capsule which can withstand 28-40 passengers at one go, this capsule will be powered by linear induction motor, electromagnetic propulsion and embedded rechargeable batteries.They have also developed a new skin for the capsule safety called Vibranium using carbon fiber and embedded sensors, this new material is eight times stronger than aluminum and weighs five times lighter than steel.
Hyperloop will shrink the distance between cities, countries and continents in a way that has never been done before.Virgin Hyperloop One has already entered an agreement with the government of Maharashtra to build a hyperloop system between Mumbai and Pune , on the other hand HTT has signed a deal with the state of Andhra Pradesh to build a hyperloop connecting Vijaywada to Amravatti , covering a 27 mile long journey within six minutes.