Hyperloop is a brand-new method of transport brought forth by the entrepreneur and billionaire Elon Musk, So let’s get into it. First of all, what is it? Well, in broad terms it is the fifth mode of transport. Hyperloop is a high-speed fifth mode of transport system in which passengers sit in a pressurized capsule that rides on a cushion of air. The capsule operates in a sealed near vacuum environment. The propulsion system is still to be chosen from a number of option two of which are magnetic levitation or air pressure similar to that of air hockey table. The system is proposed to travel at an average speed of 900 Kilometers per hour and a top speed of 1220 Kilometers now. Elon doesn’t have much time to do this one He is too busy in building rockets, electric cars and batteries to power homes. So, he has given away this idea and out-sourced it in the form of a competition. Several companies have formed to take on the project and even some old star interdisciplinary student-led teams are working together to advance the hyperloop technology. How does this idea come about? Well back in 2012, Elon announced to the world in a daily event in Santa Monica California that he was thinking of the fifth mode of transport. Now let’s discuss some advantages and possible problems with the system.
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Theoretically, the pods can’t crash. It’s also much cheaper to build and is about one-tenth of the cost of the proposed California high-speed railway system. This means that tickets could cost as little as 25$. It’s also a lot faster. You can basically get from downtown LA to downtown San Francisco in 30 minutes and it will take about the same time to get from Amsterdam to Paris. It’s also extremely energy-efficient due to solar power utilization. In fact, the Hyperloop could produce more power than it consumes as a closed system.
So, let’s move on to the possible problems
Here are some of the thoughts from the critics of Hyperloop. They say that the experience could be frightening because passengers would be in a narrow sealed windowless capsule inside a steel tunnel. Also, the fast acceleration and noisy vibrations could cause motion sickness.
You may be surprised to realize that such an idea is over 200 years old. In 1812, British mechanical engineer and inventor Medhurst wrote a book detailing his idea of transporting passengers and goods through air tight tubes using air propulsion.
Now let’s take a look at the current progress of hyperloop. Tracks are being built right now in Nevada allowing engineers to test systems and refine their designs. Three companies have already begun funding around to operate the Hyperloop. They are Hyperloop transportation technologies Inc., SpaceX, and Hyperloop technologies.
Hence, in a nutshell, this is an amazing opportunity for young engineers, inventors and designers to really get their mind working on something that could change history. We just have to see this miraculous revolution in transport in near future.