Wed, 18 Sep, 2019

THE HYPERLOOP

By Shreeya Pandey

Picture Courtesy: Slideshare.net

The 21st century, regarded as the age of science and technology, has had unbelievable progress in the field of computing. Information is shared on a global scale due to the advancement and evolution of the internet. It seems like every day, the chip sizes gets smaller and the storage space gets larger. New technologies are coming up frequently and our lives has been simplified to a greater extent. Yet, in many areas of life, things don’t seem to have changed a lot over the years, and transportation is a bewailing example of this. The roads are still lined with cars, the skies with airplanes even though science fiction had predicted flying cars and teleporting vehicles years ago.

However, the dream of futuristic transportation has gotten closer to reality by a new concept known as the Hyperloop which was introduced by Elon Musk, aiming to make a cost-effective, high speed transportation system for use at moderate distances.

Musk’s Hyperloop consists of two massive tubes stretching between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Pods carrying passengers would travel through the tubes at a high speed over 700 mph. Magnetic accelerators will be placed along the length of the tube will propel the pods forward. The tubes would be placed on a low pressure environment, with a cushion of air surrounding the pod that would help move safely at such high speeds.

The pressure buildup in front of the pod could be a problem so the tube needs a system to keep the air from building up. For this, an air compressor is placed on the front of the pod that will move air from the front to the tail and thus preventing pressure building up due to air displacement. A one way trip on the Hyperloop is estimated to take about 35 minutes. Travelling the same distance by car would roughly take around 6 hours.

The Hyperloop concept has also garnered interest from businessmen. Startups such as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) and Hyperloop Technologies (HT) are working together and are building their own test tracks. HTT has recently announced a partnership with Oerlikon Leybold Vacuum, an engineering firm specializing in vacuum technology, and Aecom, an international corporation providing technical project support.

With the development of the Hyperloop, the future of transportation looks promising. Hopefully it will bring a revolutionary change in the field of transportation and thus benefit a lot of people.