In 2013, California based billionaire, Elon Musk, the man behind PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX, revealed his vision of future travel, the Hyperloop transport system. This system is powered by a solar network of crash proof capsules that can cover a distance from San Francisco to Los Angeles (615 kms or 382 miles) in a matter of 35 minutes or that of Delhi to Mumbai in 50 minutes.
Earlier this year, the people behind Hyperloop successfully completed the first phase of test when they managed to propel a sledge from 0-187 kmph in just 1.1 seconds.
Elon Musk describes the hyperloop travel system as a cross between the Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table – it is not only faster than existing modes of land and air transport, but will also be cheaper and safer, he adds. This system of speed transportation has the potential to revolutionize intercity travel of upto 1500 kms.
Hyperloop capsule is to be constructed in such a way that a total of 28 passengers could sit in each pod. Hyperloop capsules will float above the tube’s surface on an array of 28 air bearing skis that are geometrically conformed to the tube walls. The Hyperloop passenger capsule overall interior weight is expected to be near 5,500 lb (2,500 kg) including the seats, restraint systems, interior and door panels, luggage compartments, and entertainment displays.
Recently, the Hyperloop One team was in India. They held a media event in New Delhi wherein it was announced that the company plans 5 high speed corridors in the country linking major cities with a transportation mode offering speeds as high as 1,100 kmph.
Hyperloop One ‘Vision for India’ held in New Delhi was attended by Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Railways and Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog. Hyperloop One received 126 applications from India in response to its Hyperloop One Global Challenge last year, wherefrom 5 semi finalists were selected.
Hyperloop One Global Challenge (HOGC) promises to connect India’s leading cities at speeds faster than airlines while offering reliable, clean and on demand autonomous transport which would benefit the lives of millions of citizens in the country.
These five semi finalists include:
– AECOM – with 334kms from Bengaluru to Chennai in 20 minutes
– LUX Hyperloop Network – offering 736 kms from Bengaluru to Thiruvanathapuram in 41 minutes
– Dinclix GroundWorks – 1,317 kms from Delhi-to-Mumbai via Jaipur and Indore in 55 minutes which will be offered for both freight and passengers.
– Hyperloop India – 1,102 kms from Mumbai to Chennai via Bengaluru in 50 minutes. For both freight and passengers while it will also connect the two ports of Mumbai and Chennai.
– Infi-Alpha – 334 kms from Bengaluru to Chennai in 20 minutes, thereby connecting the major airports.
Of these, Hyperloop One was the only company to demonstrate this technology, while the others are yet in the research stage. Hyperloop One held a public demonstration of propulsion motor in May 2016 and is on track to run the world’s first full system test in Nevada during the current year.