Elon Musk's Hyperloop Technologies is going to be the game-changing transit in the nearby future. The Hyperloop speed is about 760 mph (1200 km/hr) and it can travel on land and underwater. Companies like Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Virgin Hyperloop One are actively working towards achieving the mission earlier.

We have been experiencing high-speed travel through airplanes till now.

What if you can travel at even greater speeds than airplanes?

Yes, Hyperloop does such a job. Hyperloop are nothing but capsules/pods, that carries passengers and freight. These pods are low-pressure tubes, that transfer passengers and cargo. They are levitated inside a tunnel, which is devoid of air. It can carry about 40 passengers and about 4000 cargo shipping in a capsule. The Hyperloop concept is based on magnetic levitation technology. Compared to normal rails, it is different from the fact levitation technology is used, to reduce friction, which normally occurs in rails.

The Hyperloop is the right solution. The pods and linear motors of a tube transport system are relatively minor expenses compared to the tube itself – several hundred million dollars at most, compared with several billion dollars for the tube. But even several billion is a low number when compared with several tens of billion proposed for high-speed tracks- Elon Musk
Elon Musk's HYPER LOOP ALPHA/ Image credit: Space X

In 2013, Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla and Space X ignited this idea and later published a paper on it, which is named as Hyperloop Alpha White paper, which grabbed a huge attention. This paper was evolved out during a travel between Los Angeles to San Francisco Bay Area by Elon Musk and Silicon valley shareholder, Shervin Pishevar. The plan emerged when Pishevar propelled Musk to publish the paper and later on, he incorporated Hyperloop Technologies(Now Hyperloop One). Many companies have come forward to work on this idea like Virgin Hyperloop One, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Transpod, DGW Hyperloop, Arrivo, Hard Global Mobility, hyper Chariot, Zeleros are the companies, now working on this project.

Operation of Hyperloop

From its tube track system, it is easy to assume that the Hyperloop would operate like the vacuum tubes in drive-thru or old mail-room systems. However, it has certain key features that set it apart from these vacuum tubes and high-speed train tracks. The passenger pods are not mobilized by air pressure, as similar in vacuum tubes, but by electromagnetic motors. Tesla cars have such type of driving technique. It aimed to travel at a top speed of 760 Mph, soaring between Los Angeles and San Francisco at around half an hour. Though the tube tracks have a vacuum, they are not completely free of air. Instead, they have low-pressure air inside of them. A cushion of air is created usually in the front, which slows down the object, due to the air compression. But the Hyperloop capsule has a compressor fan in the front. The compressor fan redirects air to the back of the capsule for additional impulse. But, mostly the air will be sent to the air bearings. In order to reduce friction, they have ski like paddles, that levitate the capsule along the tube’s surface. The tube track is designed to be immune to weather and earthquakes. The pillars, size of a telephone pole, raising the tubes, above the ground have a small footprint and can sway away in case of an earthquake. Each of the tube sections can move around flexibly if the train moves. Because there is no constant track that the capsules rely on. Solar panels on the top of the track supply power to the motors on the tunnel.

Boring company

Photo by The Boring Company

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company was set up to dig tunnels at lower costs. It may take up to 1 Billion US Dollar per mile. It aims to build tunnels at lower costs. The Boring Company says it can be achieved by digging small tunnels, using more efficient digging machines and electric powered machines instead of using diesel-powered machines.

The loop station

Loop is basically an underground transportation system, made exclusively for Hyperloop as tunnels, by The Boring Company. Passengers would enter the pods at street level and then elevators would drop them down to the level of the Loop to continue the journey underground, bypassing street traffic.

Works on progress

Photo by : Hyperloop One

Hyperloop Technologies started its operations back in 2014, in a garage in Los Angeles. Co-founders outlined the business model on a whiteboard. In 2016, they renamed as Hyperloop One. As the name suggests, it was the first and only organization to build a full system Hyperloop. The first Devloop (Development Loop) laid at Apex, Nevada. This development loop was revealed to the public in Dubai. Now, they are expanding their hyperloop network in Europe, America and India. Virgin and Hyperloop have partnered and they reorganized as Virgin Hyperloop One in 2017. In February 2018, the first hyperloop prototype was unveiled in Dubai.

Photo by Hyperloop One

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies started its operations in 2014. Agreements have signed with the governments of Slovakia, Abu Dhabi, Brno, Czech Republic, and Indonesia for the development of Hyperloop transportation projects. The passenger capsule of Hyperloop Transportation Technology has additional features like Augmented windows. Transpod Hyperloop from Canada, DGW Hyperloop from India, Arrivo from California and many other companies worldwide are working on this model, based on Elon Musk’s paper.

Hyperloop Pod Competition

Photo by MIT

Hyperloop Pod Competition was initiated by Space X in June 2016. MIT won the competition and its design was about 8.2 feet long, 3.2 feet wide and weigh about 550 pounds. The competition was also conducted in the month of July this year. WARR Hyperloop won the competition, which propelled at a speed of 467 km/hr.

Hyperloop on MARS

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept is going to be achieved on our neighboring planet, Mars. Because, on Earth, we need to create a tunnel for creating low pressure. But on Mars, there is no need to build any tunnel because of no pressure and only, a track is needed.

Elon Musk said at the Hyperloop Pod Competition, “It would obviously have to be electric because there is no oxygen, You have to really have electric cars or trains or things”, on the hypothetical Martian hyperloop.

The total cost of the Hyperloop transportation system is outlined by Elon Musk as follows. The total cost is estimated at $7.5 billion USD.

Elon Musk's calculation

Next stage in Hyperloop

As development loop is being tested and various designs are simulated, the next stage that might be done is to manufacture capsules, that might carry a few additional passengers, as the number of intake passengers planned, at present is very low. Many models should be designed and tested, with safety measures in mind, with passengers, to know the difficulties in reality.

There will be those who can afford to travel to Mars and those who want to go. I think if we can achieve that, then it will happen and, hopefully, it will happen before I'm dead- Elon Musk

The manufacture of such an entirely new technology is complicated and requires much effort to be implemented. The people of various countries are eagerly expecting to travel longer distances in less time and at an affordable cost.