Imagine a situation where you can have your job in the New York city and live in an affordable town somewhere far from the city. Even if the place you live in is 100 miles away from NYC, you would still reach your workplace in just 30 minutes. That’s what Hyperloop, Elon Musk’s idea of the future of transport looks like.
The traffic as we know it might soon be coming to end. Our present day transportation systems lack the simplicity and speed that a fast paced life like ours demand now. It’s been a long time since our slow and outdated transport systems have been limiting the further advancements of the world. Elon Musk ideated the Hyperloop back in 2013 as a major upgrade to our current systems of transportation. In simple terms, Hyperloop is the system in which a capsule carrying passengers go at speeds around 760 miles per hour inside a steel tube that covers the entire path of travel. The speeds achievable with Hyperloop is thrice that of a bullet train and Musk believes that even supersonic speeds are possible in the future.
What exactly is the Hyperloop
The Hyperloop is a hybrid transport mechanism where people are transported in aluminum pods that freely move inside steel tubes. The design resembles a shotgun as there would be two tubes placed adjacently. The tubes are mounted on columns up to 100 yards apart and the capsules/pods inside can cloak a maximum of 800 miles per hour. This is made possible by pumping out the air from the tubes, thus eliminating air friction. There’s no doubt about speeds like that creating a new revolution in the world. According to musk, the pods can not just be used for transport of humans, but even vehicles and goods can be transported with slight modifications made to the system.
Benefits of Hyperloop
On his 2013 blog post on Tesla website, Musk listed down these as the benefits of Hyperloop system as compared to the other traditional means of transportation:
- Lower cost
- More convenient
- Immune to weather
- Sustainably self-powering
- Resistant to Earthquakes
- Not disruptive to those along the route
How it started
Elon Musk disliked California’s proposed high speed rail which as per the design would only cloak speeds like 220 miles per hour despite being very expensive. That would approximately take three hours for a journey between Los Angeles and San Francisco. He found it to be too slow and inefficient. Hyperloop was suggested by him as an alternative to this.
Musk wrote in his blog “If we are to make a massive investment in a new transportation system, then the return should by rights be equally massive.”
However, Musk said he was too busy to work on the Hyperloop project and invited others to take it up. At present, different teams led by experts in the field are working on the development of Hyperloop transport systems. In may 2016, the first test of Hyperloop 1 was done in the Nevada desert and it came out to be successful. This gives hope to a futuristic mode of transport that promises to revolutionize transportation.
One of the biggest highlights of the Hyperloop apart from its mind-blowing speeds is the use of green energy. Hyperloop would require far less energy compared to the traditional modes of transport and it would completely depend upon solar power for its functioning. With the present day transport being less fuel efficient and bad for the environment with its high rates of pollution, this sounds like the future we’ve been waiting for.
From what we know, Hyperloop indeed sounds like what the future of ground transport should look like. But the question of it becoming a reality is still unanswered. Elon Musk and the companies working on the Hyperloop pods strongly believe in this, which gives us enough hope. You can read Elon Musk’s blog post on Hyperloop here.