The 21st century is an age of implausible progress in all fields of life. The world is getting easier to access with the internet at our fingertips. Yet there are some things that have been with us for quite some time like the cars on roads or airplanes in the sky. Scientific fiction movies and books predicted teleports and flying cars but 21st century has something different in store for us.
The imagined revolutionary transportation is now possible with a successfully tested concept known as Hyperloop. Although it is nothing like teleporting or flying but Hyperloop can transfigure public transport reducing time taken to travel on land without any big damages being done to the environment.
All about Hyperloop
The concept of Hyperloop was proposed by the CEO of aerospace firm SpaceX, Elon Musk who is a billionaire inventor. Musk says he got the idea of Hyperloop after he saw a bullet train system in California High Speed Rail System (still under development) which he believes will be an expensive and slow project.
The Hyperloop has two huge tubes which stretch from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The pods which carry the passengers will travel within the tubes at shockingly high speeds of 700 mph. Magnetic accelerators will be placed alongside the length of the tube which will propel the pods to move ahead. There will be a low pressure environment which will encircle the pod with air and will help the pod move safely even at such a high speed.
Since there would be less space pressure build up in front of the pod could pose a problem. There needs to be a way to stop air from forming inside the tube. Musk recommended an air pressure to be put up in front of the pod which will not only move the air from front to the back but will keep it airborne and prevent any pressure build-up which could happen by displacement of air. It has been estimated that traveling by Hyperloop will take you 35 minutes in a one way travel which when compared to traveling by car is around six hours.
All means of transport whether air, road, water and rails are a mix of good and bad. Traveling by road is especially problematic like the prices of petrol and gas or carbon emissions which are very harmful for the environment. With time the environmental dangers of energy depletion will carry on deteriorating and using public transport will become essential in near future.
Rail travel is comparatively much environmental friendly and is less energy consuming but is an expensive affair and is time taking too. For a distance less than 900 miles, this mode of supersonic travel is unrealistic as most of the time would be taken in ascending and descending the aircraft. Keeping in mind these problems Hyperloop intends on making a high speed and cost-effective transport which could be used by the public to travel moderate distance with ease. Solar panels will be installed on the tubes of Hyperloop making them self-sufficient and a self-powering system.
There are some downsides to this project as well. The most sought problem is how the tubes would elevate at such a high speed which is why the system is best to be used for straight trips on leveled grounds.
Since California is prone to earthquakes, Hyperloop has been designed to fight this. The tubes will be mounted on pylons which will be spread all along the route and will be placed at about 100 feet distance. When the earthquakes or thermal expansions happen, the pylons will allow a slip assuring that the tubes are not broken by any movements.
The most important problem that arises is to get any project financially approved by the government especially when something good like this is being done for the masses. Even if an impressive blueprint is produced there are hundreds of more problems standing at the door like regulations, public approval, legislation and contractors who would do the required jobs. Luckily, Musk’s project is cost-efficient and is estimated to be completed within 6 billion dollars whereas the expensive project of California High Speed Railway System has been estimated to cost about 68 billion dollars.
It is still not clear if Hyperloop systems will be adopted but as the population grows and our environment fades public transport would become essential and maybe then it would be the age of Hyperloop.