Dreams never die, however, and the fantasy of futuristic transportation is very much alive right now as exemplified by a concept called the Hyperloop. While it’s not quite as mind-shattering as a teleporter or as fun as a personal jetpack, the Hyperloop seems like it could revolutionize mass transit, shortening travel times on land and reducing environmental damage in the process.
WHAT IS HYPERLOOP?
Hyperloop is a new way to move people or things anywhere in the world quickly, safely, efficiently, on-demand and with minimal impact to the environment. The system uses electric propulsion to accelerate a passenger or cargo vehicle through a tube in a low pressure environment. The autonomous vehicle levitates slightly above the track and glides at faster-than-airline speeds over long distances. We eliminate direct emissions, noise, delay, weather concerns and pilot error. It’s the next mode of transportation.
Why the need?
Conventional means of transportation (road, water, air, and rail) tend to be some mix of expensive, slow, and environmentally harmful. Road travel is particularly problematic, given carbon emissions and the fluctuating price of oil. As the environmental dangers of energy consumption continue to worsen, mass transit will be crucial in the years to come.
Rail travel is relatively energy efficient and offers the most environmentally friendly option, but is too slow and expensive to be massively adopted. At distances less than 900 miles, supersonic travel is unfeasible, as most of the journey would be spent ascending and descending (the slowest parts of a flight.) Given these issues, the Hyperloop aims to make a cost-effective, high speed transportation system for use at moderate distances. As an example of the right type of distance, Musk uses the route from San Francisco to L.A. (a route the high-speed rail system will also cover). The Hyperloop tubes would have solar panels installed on the roof, allowing for a clean and self-powering system.
So how exactly would it work?
To know more watch this video
See Hyperloop One’s first high-speed test
Investors, journalists, and employees explore Hyperloop One’s test site in North Las Vegas.