HYPERLOOP – Beats Speed Record | Part – 2
Three Indian states think it’s time to introduce some bold thinking in transport planning: HYPERLOOP. Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, home to several of India’s largest economic cities including Mumbai and Bengaluru, are leading studies with Hyperloop One to understand hyperloop’s feasibility and economic result in the regions.
If hyperloop networks were installed and linked among all three states, India could generate a nationwide network that would allow travel within major cities in India in under two hours. This network could form the largest connected urban area in the world by linking nearly 75+ million people across the three states.
Imagine the possible impact on people’s lives and business if travel between Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, and Amaravati could take place in under two hours. Hyperloop could alter the face of India just as trains did during the Industrial Revolution.
To notify their plans for developing a fully operational network that is affordable for all, Virgin Hyperloop One began a global challenge to discover the routes best located to benefit from hyperloop technology.
With over 2,600 entries, the field was reduced to just 35 potential locations with each entry experiencing with strong support from governments and urban planners.
With 10 winners across five countries, Virgin Hyperloop One is now running in partnership with each of the locations on how to best present the hyperloop technologies in live networks.
In February 2018, the firm revealed their first prototype passenger pods for the Dubai-Abu Dhabi world Expo 2020 hyperloop route, a network that would drastically cut the car travel time between the two cities from two hours to just 12 minutes. (4)
On February 22, 2018, Hyperloop One has entered into an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Government of Maharashtra to construct a hyperloop transportation system between Mumbai and Pune that would reduce the travel time from the current 180 minutes to just 20 minutes.
NEED FOR SPEED:
The advantages of hyperloop are noteworthy. Like train stations, hyperloop stations called portals are designed to be located within inner-city areas with easy links to living transport infrastructure.
This gives hyperloop systems a clear advantage over air travel, where airports direct to be located beyond city limits with fewer accessibility options.
Additionally, the system is being improved to function on a “turn up and go” principle without a long check-in process and with accelerated, advanced security checks.
Another benefit is its speed. If hyperloop could significantly decrease the travel time between cities, it could be likely to live in a completely different city or part of the country from where you work, with a commute no disparate in length to the one you perhaps take today.
This opens up a broad range of housing and employment opportunities with people no longer restricted to have been close to where they work. It could also take the stress off our cities where infrastructure is usually still catching up with development, and where residence prices have become unattainable for most.
With speeds approaching aircraft and nine of the top 10 busiest air routes in the world being domestic hyperloop has the potential to totally revolutionize the way we live, work and travel.
A hyperloop system requires very little power to propel pods through its tubes as the vacuum environment poses little resistance. As such, the systems could be powered by renewable technologies such as solar and wind, giving a considerably cleaner alternative to air travel. (5)
SAFETY AND CONCERNS:
When you think the prospect of people being propelled in tubes across the earth’s surface at near-supersonic speeds, there are a number of questions that naturally jump to mind.
Perhaps the first is the influence of a potential break or breach in one of the tubes probably as the result of an earthquake or external impact.
Virgin Hyperloop One explains that they have directed this by constructing thick steel tubes that are greatly difficult to puncture or buckle. Additionally, the tubes are engineered to endure changes in pressure and air leaks while supporting their structural integrity.
It is believed that a sudden influx of air into one of the tubes would just slow the pods due to the increased air resistance. The pods could then be addressed to the next portal through an auxiliary power boost.
There is also the capability to section off parts of the route and to re-pressurize sections where important emergencies occur and all pods are expected to be fitted with emergency exits.
Externally, hyperloop systems will mostly travel on elevated seismically designed pylons that are able to move and flex separately of one another minimizing damage in the case of a major ground shift.
Sensors along the route would immediately report concerns to the systems control center. (6)
In answering the natural safety matters raised, Virgin Hyperloop One also points out that millions of people previously travel at high speeds in metal tubes every time they take a flight, and that numerous concerns encircled the use of jet aircraft when that mode of transportation first came to prevalence.
While the idea of hyperloop may look far-fetched, when you think the industrial progress made in the past 200 years, the current rate of technology selection in our societies and the significant advances being made by hyperloop companies around the world, this unbelievable new transportation system looks set to become a part of our daily lives in the very near future.