Monday, January 16, 2017

Hyperloop-one, transforming global transportation ?

The basic problems we encounter in any form of transportation are the following
1. energy expended
2. friction leading to heat buildup
3. wear and tear, leading to failure
4. safety of occupants and the surroundings and
5. harmful emissions
Different modes of transportation handle these problems in varying degrees.

Energy expended reflects directly on the costs of the transportation trip, that also explains why air travel is costlier than all other forms of travel. Conventional methods pf power generation cost more than non-conventional methods, especially in the case of solar energy.

Friction is an inevitable phenomenon on planet earth as long as we encounter air or material impediment either while flying in the air, or rolling or sliding on any surface.

Wear and tear, though a direct outcome of friction, is a function of distance traveled and time. This is also the reason why we need to replace worn out parts after some time.

Safety is directly related to the speed, the control systems, the environment and the reliability of the vehicle

Emissions are related to the technology employed in the vehicle and can be a cause of sustainability concern for the environment in the long run.

All the existing modes of transportation we have ever since man started moving goods and himself around 8000 BC with the paved roads, the wheels, animal based transportation, water transportation, steam engines, internal combustion engines and aeroplanes have had one limitation or the other, but the one great limitation, continues to be the speed and time for traveling, often imposed as a technology constraint.

One of the greatest young techno-preneurs of modern day, Elon Musk, the naturalised US citizen, immigrant from S Africa who made his millions selling paypal, set up the solar energy startup Solar city, electric car startup TESLA, Space exploration technology startup SpaceX, now comes up with his new innovative offering helping in mass rapid transportation of people at a very fast pace over long distances, Hyper Loop.

Propulsion by magnetic accelerators gets the pods moving across two points through two large tubes in near vacuum, reduces friction, heat and wasteful expenditure of energy at speeds about 700 miles per hour (1120 kmph) controlled by accurate electronic guiding systems preventing crashes. Because of these technologies, we find this transportation really fast, reducing transportation time to one fourth to one tenth, accident free, giving a smooth ride and top comfort to passengers. 

These hyper loop pods, mostly driven in automode, reduces the chances of driver errors leading to massive accidents. The only drawbacks however are the great expenses involved in installing large tubes, often running over agricultural lands and residential areas at great heights, building stations and the necessary instrumentation to enable propulsion of the pods and evacuation of the tubes.

The provision of solar panels on top of the tubes, gives great energy savings. The braking energy is recycled to charge the batteries, this is another great  innovation in this case. The low friction due to transportation in vacuum, magnetic levitation methods in the tube powering propulsion and employing solar panels to capture energy to run the signalling systems and other networks makes this system totally zero emission system.

HyperLoop Transportation Technologies {HTT) is approaching the Govt of India for permission to start running of the hyper loop transportation systems in india across five busy sectors, from Delhi to Mumbai, Mumbai to Chennai, Chennai to Bangalore and finally from Bangalore to Trivandrum, the sectors where initial testing and trials of HTT pods will happen in India. Depending on the enthusiasm shown by the GOI in accepting this new technology and popularising it, the future holds much promise for the country, thanks to Elon Musk.

Click here to read how disruptive technologies in automobiles evolved .

Click here to read about Tesla Motors, leaders in sustainable transport ..

Click here to read about the 45 year old Elon Muo sum it up, the greatsk ..

To sum it up, the greatest advantage India can get out of this futuristic transportation system is the least disruption this causes to existing infrastructure and savings in time. If India needs to give leadership to the world by 2040 AD, it is high time we tested and migrated to such futuristic technologies ..

Click here to download the Hyperloop case study prepared for Alliance University students.

George ..


  1. Prof. Thanks for sharing this awesome technology details.

  2. Never seen a high risk taker like Elon Musk who stakes everything to bachaoge what he dreams off. Hope this becomes a reality


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