Speed has always been one of the biggest fascinations for mankind. His attempts to travel faster has led to some of the greatest discoveries in history. Now another great milestone has been achieved in this strive for speed after Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) unveiled its first full-scale passenger capsule on October 2.
The 5-tonne capsule has 72 sensors, 75,000 rivets and 7,200 square metre of fibre. It is constructed completely out of HyperloopTT's "Vibranium", a specially made dual-layer smart composite material.
The 32 metre long capsule has an inner length of 15 metre and the vehicle is expected to travel on the ground at a speed of 760 kmph.
According to Dirk Ahlborn, CEO, HyperloopTT, the vehicle will be operational in just three years of time.
What is Hyperloop?
In simple words, the concept of hyperloop (high-speed transportation of goods in tubes) aims to use magnetic force to allow vehicles to travel by levitating at high speed. The vehicles are operated inside a sealed tube that is created to ensure that it could travel at high speeds above tracks without any resistance using magnetic levitation.
While various concepts including high-speed maglev trains were going rounds, the real push towards hyperloop came after Elon Musk declared that he was thinking about the possibility of the vehicle, which he termed as the "fifth mode of transport."
Soon a number of firms started to focus on the construction of hyperloops such as HTT and Virgin Hyperloop One. But a key movement came when MIT Hyperloop developed the first Hyperloop pod prototype in 2016.
When the concept becomes a reality, it will have a far-reaching impact on human transportation. Simply put, a land vehicle that travel at the speed of a commercial plane without any of latter’s hassles is expected to attract a large chunk of the population. Already proposals have been made about possible hyperloop routes across the world.
This includes the routes proposed in India by HTT connecting Chennai with Bengaluru and Vijayawada with Amaravati. Similarly, Hyperloop One has signed a MoU with Maharashtra government to connect the cities of Mumbai and Pune.
However, the concept too has its share of critics. This includes doubts about the riding experience , concerns of safety and practicality of such a concept with systems like Maglev and air transport already in place.