Hyperloop Transport Technologies, a company in Los Angeles, has been developing a prototype high-speed rapid transit technology. Their first project, the Hyperloop One is built off a design by Tesla, and Space X CEO Elon Musk who suggest it will both economical and extremely efficient. Announced in February 2015, they planned to develop a hyperloop route between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. They have raised more than $35 million US in working capital for this project and were successful on their first virgin voyage just yesterday, May 11, 2016.
Hyperloop One Technology in a nutshell
This new hyperloop transportation technology is truly revolutionary, and here is why. Rather than using evacuated tubes of previous locomotives, this new technology is based on a vacuum tube train concept. In other words, it uses magnetic levitation; thus, removing air resistance in the equation. By doing so, in theory, these hyperloop trains could potentially travel up to 4,000 to 5,000 mph or 6,400 to 8,000 km/h. That is around 5 to 6 times the speed of sound. However, so far, the Hyperloops One project’s first test run only yield speeds up to 750 mph or 1207 km/h. This is still impressive since the famous Shinkansen Bullet train has a maximum operating speed of 200 mph or 320 km/h which is approximate, 3.75 times faster. Interestingly, the operating procedure of this hyperloop is rather different than conventional methods. The Maglev technology would levitate the pods, then the Pods would move through low-pressure tubes, and this process would be fully automated and electrically powered. While Hyperloop One was criticized pretty heavily in regards to safety considerations, they are working on making sure it is going to be a safe, efficient, and economical to use.
So if this is the future of rapid transportation, will passengers will be shoved into pods, buckled up and bam! shipped off to their next destination? Will you be prepared to be shoved in pods and shipped to halfway across the world in a matter of hours?