Ever imagined covering a distance of 100 miles in 10 minutes?
Now with successful theoretical results achieved, Elon Musk claims that the distance covered in approximately 3 hours can be reduced to a 10 minute journey.
This new “Hyperloop” technology proposes to rapidly transmit people across long distances in the blink of an eye, catching the attention of many European countries and prompting many companies to try converting the theoretical idea of Hyperloop into reality. Elon Musk proposed the idea of Hyperloop as a transportation system that can travel at nearly sonic speed; the approximate traveling rate is 1,220 kilometer per hour (760mph).
Musk said in a CNN Money interview that it is one of the easier projects he has come up with, and mentioned that it should be relatively easy for others to turn into a reality:
I know there are various companies that are trying to create the Hyperloop, and honestly I think it is a lot easier than people think. Blueprints are always kind of complicated, and, yes, there is math, but it’s really not that hard.
Engineering and construction firm Aecom hopes to build a track for Musk’s Hyperloop to avail the fast-traveling technology as soon as possible. Aecom’s CEO Michael Burke remarked, “What we are delivering is more than just a track to test podprototypes; it’s a glimpse into the future.”
On the other hand, Jump Start Fund’s Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) has already planned to build a test track in California which would connect Bratislava, Slovakia, with Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary.
The Slovakian government has also reached an agreement to design a track.
This European track would allow passengers to travel from Vienna to Bratislava, 56 kilometers (35 miles) in a straight line, in just eight minutes. The Bratislava to Budapest link, 160 kilometers (100 miles) in length, would take just 10 minutes.
Mr. Musk revealed the Hyperloop concept in 2013 as a low-cost alternative to railways and other public transport. By using solar technology, larger distances can be traveled in shorter time and with less system management cost.
Basically hyperloop is an advanced technology for traveling at very high speeds; the pods are essentially tubes which would be launched by a gun type launch power and shot through an underground tunnel sent through a continuous steel tube from which air is removed to create a vacuum.
The capsule will float on a layer of air, allowing the pods to move at high speeds of 760 mph. These tubes will be three times faster than a bullet train and twice as fast as an aeroplane.
The system would be solar powered, making it much cheaper than conventional methods. This method could cover the distance between Los Angeles to San Francisco in thirty minutes.
According to proposals, a ticket on a six-person capsule would cost around $20 (£13) one way. The track will be built and tested near SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, and will be 1.8 meters (6 feet) wide and 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) long.
For the track building, SpaceX will hold a “Hyperloop Pod Competition” at Texas A&M University to give teams a chance to design vessels to be used on the test track. The idea for this competition was proposed immediately after the hyperloop traveling concept was introduced by Musk in 2013.
One of the 35 teams that have managed to enter the prototype rounds is from the University of Waterloo.
As a part of the competition, the University of Waterloo team will be testing out their prototype version, “Waterloop.” Despite all the theoretical success gained so far, however, the Hyperloop is still purely a design concept in its experimental phase. Test tracks are currently being laid in California and Las Vegas, with plans to test a prototype Hyperloop system by the end of 2016.
Currently, there is no fixed design for the pods and there are three different companies who are trying to build a working prototype, including the Slovakian partners Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Aecom. The test track in Quay Valley, California plans to transport 10 million people during the trial period.
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