By: Raktim Debnath
We have always fantasized in science-fiction about travelling from one city to another in a matter of minutes. We have seen this in sci-fi movies and illustrations in books as people of the future travelling in elegant frictionless glass tubes. Thanks to Elon Musk’s brainchild Hyperloop, this fantasy might become reality sooner than you think.
So what exactly is this Hyperloop? In short it is a super high speed transportation system that runs, or rather flies in artificially reduced-pressure tube. On this tube system, pressurized capsules, which also carry the people, ride on a layer of air cushion using linear induction motors and air compressors. The process can be compared to jet planes flying is very high altitude where there is almost no air resistance.
Elon Musk and his company SpaceX has open sourced this technology and encouraged companies and universities from all over the world to participate in developing this revolutionary transport system. Since then, various companies have been formed like Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc., Hyperloop Technologies, etc. as well as many student-led design and research teams to work on the realization of this technology.
Now let’s see what the advantages are of Hyperloop compared to traditional mode of ground transport. Theoretically the capsules cannot crash as they would run on sophisticated computer programs and that will eliminate the human errors which is one of the major factor of transportation crashes. The cost will also be very economical, and tickets from L.A. to San Francisco can cost as less as $25.
It is also a lot faster. Travelling through Hyperloop, you can reach from San Francisco to L.A. in only 30 minutes which is very impressive and almost impossible for a ground transport. In Europe, it would take about the same time to reach Amsterdam from Paris.
It is also extremely energy-efficient and according to its developers, Hyperloop will create more energy than it consumes with the help of its solar power utilization.
Now we must remember that this is still in its conceptual and development stage. One of the major problem is how to make travelling in narrow, sealed, windowless tunnel at super high speed of around 1000 km/hour comfortable for human body.
Nevertheless, with countless engineers and designers around the globe working on Hyperloop, we can hope that soon we will be able to use this new faster, cheaper and more energy-efficient mode of transportation.