Traveling comfortably and safely in capsules that move inside a tube at more than 1200 km / h? Hyperloop is a new transport concept that will revolutionize the way we travel in the future. And it’s closer than it seems.
For its part, another of the companies that work to develop these capsules capable of traveling at high speed, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), recently presented in Cadiz the first full scale Hyperloop capsule that is produced in Europe. And they are not the only two companies working on this technology.
But, what does Tesla owner Elon Musk have to do with all this? What is the Hyperloop technology? When would it be ready? We will answer the most common questions about Hyperloop, focused on Virgin Hyperloop One, the most advanced company to date and the only one that currently has a complete system already undergoing testing.
1. What is Virgin Hyperloop One?
Founded in June 2014, the company led by Rob Lloyd aims to completely change the way we know the current high-speed transport. Following the project of Virgin Hyperloop One, more than 300 employees are currently working hard to advance the original idea of вЂ‹вЂ‹entrepreneur Elon Musk. In Virgin Hyperloop One, they intend to eliminate the barriers of distance and time, allowing to travel long distances in just minutes, through a safer, more efficient and convenient transport. They currently have a financing that reaches 295 million dollars.
2. How does the Hyperloop One work?
The Hyperloop One incorporates latest generation technology to reach very high speeds, close to 1,200 km / h. This kind of high speed “train” travels inside a vacuum tube levitating on rails, which causes a minimum aerodynamic load and almost does not generate resistance to advance. For this reason, the capsule can travel with a minimum energy consumption at a very high speed. In addition, when placed inside a vacuum tunnel, it prevents accidents related to bad weather or caused by the obstacles in the way. Using fully renewable energy in its operation will not emit carbon emissions. An alternative to the very ecological future.
3. Who is behind Virgin Hyperloop One?
Although Elon Musk is commonly identified as the person behind the entire Hyperloop One project, this is not the case. The merits go to Elon since this was his idea, but the company Virgin Hyperloop One is directed by Rob Lloyd. The name “Virgin” comes from one of its main investors, the Virgin airline, which has put a lot of effort into this project. Behind Virgin there is yet another person: the British magnate Richard Branson.
4. Why do we need Hyperloop One?
The rapid growth of the population on our planet causes the different transport methods to be overexploited. It is increasingly difficult to travel, whether by car, plane, train or any other means of transport. Thanks to Hyperloop, many of these problems could be avoided. Imagine: goodbye to traffic jams, airport queues … And all this with a huge savings in the time needed for travel. In addition, compared to other current transport systems Hyperloop presents an ecological operation. And for a world in which the pollution derived from transport has become a problem, this is a big step forward.
5. What makes Hyperloop One different?
The main thing that makes the difference in the Hyperloop One is its speed. It is capable of traveling at almost three times the speed of a normal high-speed train, being much more respectful of the environment than the conventional trains. On the other hand, thanks to its design, Hyperloop will allow you to travel long distances without having to make stops or transfers, in a minimum period of time. Several capsules can leave every few seconds, fully loaded with passengers. In short: no emissions, no noise, with unimaginable characteristics for a train of the near future.
6. Is the Hyperloop One safe?
Compared to other high-speed trains, the Hyperloop One eliminates a lot of unnecessary risks due to its vacuum tube system that circulates, since the obstacles in the road are the main cause of accidents related to rail transport. Isolated from the meteorological changes, with a system of autonomous piloting and with all kinds of safety measures and vital assistance in the transport capsules, the Hyperloop One will become one of the safest means of transport.
7. Where will the Hyperloop be installed?
Until now, several locations where the Hyperloop One started to work have been shuffled. One of the main candidates is the creation of a Hyperloop One that connects Los Angeles with San Francisco. This is the most likely location in which the first Hyperloop One is going to be located. Routes have been shuffled as a Paris-Amsterdam connection, or a Toronto-Ottawa connection. Despite all these conjectures, there is still nothing official confirmed by the company, although something positive has been confirmed for another country: Hyperloop will create a development and testing center in Spain, specifically in Malaga.
8. What will be the price of traveling on the Hyperloop One?
In the current state of technology it is impossible to determine. Virgin Hyperloop One says that the prices, logically, will vary depending on the route, although they show their objective is of doing it as economically as possible. Musk himself proposed that the price of a trip would cost around 20 dollars.
9. What does it feel like to travel on Hyperloop One?
One of the most frequently asked questions is whether traveling at such high speeds will be something that anyone’s body can bear, and the answer is clear: yes! The Hyperloop employs a system of progressive acceleration, which makes the top speed not to be reached suddenly, but little by little, so the feeling of traveling in Hyperloop will not be different from traveling in a normal commercial plane. And all this, without turbulence!
10. When will it be a reality to travel on Hyperloop One?
Until now, the company Virgin Hyperloop One affirms that the Hyperloop One will be ready to transport cargo and people by the middle of 2020, although this does not imply that by then the first Hyperloop tickets you can buy would already be available. The company has not yet confirmed when the first Hyperloop will be built, so we must wait a few more years before we can enjoy and try this jewel of the 21st century engineering.