What is Hyperloop?
Hyperloop is a system where magnetically levitating capsules are sent at high speeds through low-pressure tubes. It would propel a pod-like vehicle through a near-vacuum tube (99.9% air is removed) at more than airline speed. It dramatically reduces transport time — of people and goods. The transport time reduction may be more than 80%.
Such a system is now being developed to connect Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Development of Hyperloop
Hyperloop is the brainchild of entrepreneur Elon Musk, and was announced by him back in 2013.
One of the companies founded by him – SpaceX – continues to carry out fundamental research in the direction of Hyperloop. At present, there are several companies which are now in the process of developing technology and hardware for the Hyperloop.
One of the prominent companies is the Hyperloop One.
Applications of Hyperloop
Hyperloop, as mentioned earlier, is already being developed to connect Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Once operational, it will be the fastest available mode of passenger transit, cutting the travel time by almost 50% in comparison to air-travel.
The system proposes to propel pod-like vehicles through a near-vacuum tube at speeds close to 1200 km/h. It is projected as the fastest way to travel between two places.
Hyperloop is a new way to move people and things at airline speeds for the price of a bus ticket.
It is on-demand, energy-efficient and safe.
Hyperloop One Global challenge: Online vote for people to suggest deployment of a Hyperloop in their countries
Hyperloop One, the company developing the technology, conducted an online vote for people to suggest and choose the best route to deploy a Hyperloop in their countries. The vote, known as Hyperloop One Global challenge, received 2,600 registrants from 90 countries.
It then selected 35 semi-finalists from across the world, five of which are from India. The route choices for India are:
- Bengaluru-to-Chennai (334 km in 20 minutes)
- Bengaluru-to-Thiruvananthapuram (736 km in 41 minutes)
- Delhi-to-Mumbai via Jaipur and Indore (1,317 km in 55 minutes)
- Mumbai-to-Chennai via Bengaluru (1,102 km in 50 minutes)
- A port connector project
Hyperloop in India
Hyperloop One has announced its intentions to begin operations in India by 2021.
There are also reports that the company has already begun talks with the Indian government to see how to make this possible, and how to combine this with the Make in India mission by sourcing the necessary material locally.
Pros and Cons
If approved, Hyperloop will enable India to jump forward in its transport infrastructure.
It will also revolutionise the way business is conducted. Businesses are likely to pay for the premium charged to be able to schedule meetings and presentations cities apart, all in the same day.
Potential benefits to the goods transport industry are also enormous.
Such a system will clearly be available to very few prople. At a time when railway infrastructure is still improving and the airline industry is priced beyond the abilities of most of the populace, India must reconsider a new transport system only to be used by businesses and businesspeople.