We live in an age of smart technology. The last decade has seen phenomenal increase in the use of technology in every sphere. We use the smartest phones there could be, live in smart homes, 3D print everything, from aircraft ancillaries to tools and even human organs such as pancreas and ovaries. Artificial Intelligence (AI) rules our lives like never before, with robots available for every single human activity.
However, one area that is woefully behind in the race for technological advances is transportation. We’re yet stuck in the 20th century when it comes to transportation. Granted, there is the bullet trains and the Segway, but these are hardly the stuff science fiction fantasies are made of. And the much-touted-and-yet-to-be-launched air-cabs don’t seem viable or sustainable enough. What then will take the crucial-to-human-life field of transportation into the futuristic forward?
The answer to this compelling question lies with the billionaire inventor cum maverick, compulsive entrepreneur, Elon Musk. After conquering space, with his SpaceX, and roads, with the iconic Tesla, Musk has yet again come up with a futuristic plan -this time round, he promises to transform the way humans travel, both intra-country and inter-country. First proposed by him in way back in 2013, Musk has gone ahead and introduced the ultra-advanced Hyperloop- the space age way to transportation. Yes, it is nothing like teleportation, the ultimate dream of science fiction enthusiasts, but it is revolutionary, nevertheless.
So then, what exactly is the Hyperloop? Here we give you all the dope on this avant-garde mode of travel-
Musk’s Hyperloop comprises massive tubes extending between two cities, two countries or even two continents. Pods carrying people, animals or cargo would travel through the tubes at blistering speeds touching an eye-popping 1200 kmph. Magnetic accelerators, placed along the length of the tubes, will propel the pods forward within the tubes.
The environment within the tubes would be kept at low pressure, almost at vacuum levels, thus surrounding the pod with an air cushion that will help the pod to simply glide forward at stunningly high speeds, with zero friction between pod and tube. Imagine a puck that glides over an air hockey table; the pod will propel forward in a similar fashion.
The Hyperloop promises to cut travel time exponentially- covering a distance from New York to Beijing in just two hours. It even aims to cut carbon emissions- the bane of conventional road transport- by having solar panels installed on the roof, allowing for a clean and self-powering system. It will also depend solely on alternative energy and energy conservation systems. In fact, the Hyperloop plans to produce as much or more energy than it uses.
The Hyperloop also takes into account the chance of earthquakes or thermal expansion disrupting the tubes, by incorporating a series of pylons into the Hyperloop design. The tubes will be mounted on these pylons, which will be spread along the entire route at a distance of 100 feet from each other. These pylons will ensure that the tubes stay intact even in the face of natural disasters or other natural phenomena.
Additionally, at some places, Musk plans to dig extremely cost-effective underground tunnels which will house the Hyperloop. With this in mind, he has launched a separate entity, ‘The Boring Company’, which will dig tunnels at a fraction of the conventional cost of digging tunnels.
The project is extremely cost-effective, promising a cheap, environmental-friendly and convenient mode of travel in the years ahead. The first few Hyperloops are set to be launched in Slovakia, Jakarta, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Czech Republic, Toulouse in France and California by 2021.