“You see things and say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’ ”

                                                                                                -George Bernard Shaw

Have you ever dreamt of travelling at the speed of sound? You must be thinking that I am crazy to be even asking that question because this sounds faster than any commercial airliner or any Maglev high-speed train. The speed that I am talking about is nearly 1200 km/h. How is this even possible? Trust me, even the thought of this being possible sounds so thrilling!  With the ever growing global economy, there was always a need for finding a new mode of transportation which is faster, cheaper, safer and more efficient. Today, the path breaking innovation of the world’s first ever commercial “Hyperloop” system has taken over the future of mobility.

Hyperloop train

Great human minds have pushed the barriers of technology so far that today this looks possible. According to me, Hyperloop experience will become a world changing mobility solution for the years to come. With “Hyperloop”, we could fancy travelling between cities across the country in pods that whoosh   through a vacuum tube transforming travel time from hours to minutes. Sounds like some kind of magic right? Absolutely, it is fascinating to see such a big transformation and it would be quite interesting to get an insight into what exactly drives this “Hyperloop” technology.

            This technology is a combination of a several technologies that have been around for quite some time: linear electric motors, Maglev and vacuum pumps. It all started with an idea by the SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who presented quite a basic but yet promising system architecture of the Hyperloop in 2013.

Hyperloop capsule

From then on, basic designs have been developed and all necessary wishes and requirements for the comfort of the passengers have been incorporated into this technology to bring it this far. A very simplified way this technology works is that at first, passengers or cargo are loaded into pressurized capsules. These capsules are powered by linear induction motors, electromagnetic propulsion and embedded rechargeable batteries. Then these capsules float above the track using magnetic levitation and glide at speeds greater than airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag. Hyperloop replicates high altitudes in a low pressure environment inside the tube system by removing most of the air with vacuum pumps, which drastically reduces the drag forces.

Hyperloop station

The capsules are engineered and designed to create a safe and harmonious environment for the passengers, with customized interior for use-based experiences.  Utilizing a combination of existing and new technologies, the Hyperloop system is both high-speed and resource-efficient, with a safe and comfortable experience for passengers and cargo. I am sure after knowing a little bit about this cool technology, all of you must be already thinking of your first Hyperloop ride!

When it comes to trying out some fancy technology, we always wonder about its affordability. Since it is quite a futuristic technology, it is difficult to predict the exact cost as it will depend greatly on the route, but the goal is to make it affordable for everyone. The current target is to have operational systems by 2021. The ability to meet that target will depend on how fast the regulatory and statutory process moves. So far, a very positive response has been observed from government’s side to this technology. I am keeping my fingers crossed to see this being implemented as our future mode of transportation and to revolutionize the world of mobility.

Written by

Pallav Pattnaik