The Hyperloop May Disrupt More Than Just TravelMay 21, 2021
hyperloopyou've most likely heard the name by now this is the
hyperloopsystem that can take people hundreds of miles and minutes the hyperloop a series of tubes that would transport people in capsules at ultra-high speeds over long distances this is a remarkable new form of transportation that can take people from one city to another in an instant 29 minutes from New York to DC 30 minutes from Los Angeles to San Francisco for years we've been seeing these futuristic utopian depictions of a cross between a spaceship and a monorail but lately the hyperloop is getting a lot
morereal yes it was surreal to be sitting inside a hyperloop and even
moreamazing to be like riding a track in something that was nothing more than a crazy idea six years before it was all over.
The world has been developing and testing the technology needed to propel passengers to speeds of over 1,000 kilometers per hour, but for many speed is
justthe first step in unlocking the full transformation. The optional effects of a fast new mode of transportation is what we take for granted in the world of Hyperloop. It's the network effects that really provide the benefit and that opens up a whole different scale of Economic Opportunity. We have Planes Trains Cars and ships to move around the Earth but what if there was a fifth mode and I have a name for it which is called hyperloop hyperloop hyperloop yes back in 2013 while riding high on the rising success of Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur Elon Musk released a white paper outlining the basic framework of the technology which he called the hyperloop the basic idea goes something like this a tube reduces air pressure to an environment almost similar to a vacuum a hyperloop capsule then it is suspended in the tube usually by magnetic levitation the entire pod can be propelled forward because there are no traditional sources of friction, such as air resistance or rolling friction, that would push back against the pod. perloop was able to move at incredibly high speeds and do so quite efficiently despite its futuristic name; however, the general concept behind hyperloop is quite old; indeed, New York City's first attempt at an underground public transportation system in the 1870s was based on a similar principle. the pneumatic transit system was short-lived, however, only spanning a block and maxing out at 10 miles per hour, while Elon would make some 21st century improvements to this concept and give it a very 21st century name, no you'd end up pursuing the technology itself and instead opt to focus your efforts on something a little deeper - literally digging the necessary tunnels through your boring company - it would take another billionaire industrialist dabbling in spaceflight. big investment in the hyperloop one company, it would be renamed Virgin hyperloop, but we've always been trying to do as a company is to show that this technology could work, that it could be safe and that ultimately it's something that will happen in the next two years, not the next 20 years Josh Geigel is co-founder and CEO of Virgin Hyperloop mail your Tech startup story that has seen the project go from a garage to a full-scale test facility outside of Las Vegas, so we started building the first type of hyperloop system in 2016.
We've done a lot of work on a test of 500 that we've done on that in the last five years and what we realized we have to do is take that technology, show that it can be business, so reduce cost improve efficiency improve performance but the key is that it's actually accessible and safe for people to do that, Josh, along with the head of Experie Virgin Passenger Officer Sarah Lucian bravely volunteered to take the maiden voyage only to find out that she and I are the first two people ever to sit in a Hyper Loop. the only kind of people that have been through this environment are in space suits and there we are in normal clothes because of the system the safety of what we designed three two one launch and then once we started going it felt a little acceleration, we sped up a little more than we would in a commercial it would be like a sports car yeah we got to about 100 mph on that test and it's a short sprint it's about 500 yards and it stopped the test lasted only about 20 seconds and covering only a quarter mile at
justover 100 miles per hour is a long way from a truly working hyperloop, but optics-wise, it's a crucial step for the future of funding the number one question that we received from investors or from the proponents of the project or just people in general saying that it is a secure Hyperloop and what better way to demonstrate that something is secure than by getting people to participate in it, investors and governments who would likely be bearing some of the costs of building an unproven technology no easy task first and foremost is the issue of safety most people don't know how an airplane works but they still get on a plane a plane they get on a plane because they know it's faster than driving and more importantly they probably got off one before they've ever seen someone get off one before so what we set out to do was show that Hyperloop could be safe with two normal people, not astronauts, not adrenaline junkies or test pilots or anything like that, two normal people. getting on a hyperloop and then, most importantly, getting those two people off, but safety concerns aside, building hyperloops will certainly require significant capital investment on the order of about $60 million per kilometer of track, so a track from San Francisco to Los Angeles for example is likely to come with a price tag of more than $10 billion and before big governments are willing to step in and meet those costs, investors Those who are funding the development of Hyperloop need to accept it as a long-term mix of technology and infrastructure invested by investors who are used to short returns because they're developing apps or something, they know those aren't the investors who are really excited about Hyperloop what you start to see is people looking at the technologies of the platform, so this idea that of Since this smartphone existed, Uber could exist, who are they like the Vanderbilts of this century and that's the part where you'll get a lot more right? yes, but there are people who have the ability and the fortitude to hang in there to see the game-changing platform here, those are the people we're looking for and since we did that passenger test there's been a lot of interest.
That's really, oh, this is a lot sooner than I thought, imagining the Ripple effects of what Hyperloop could achieve, although it's quite challenging at this stage of development, it's fast, yes, but to the point. Traditional maglev trains can also move quite quickly and out of China, South Korea and Japan, even those haven't seen much adoption elsewhere due to high costs and questionable profitability. The Shanghai line in China, for example, loses around 100 million dollars. Yet every year, Hyperloop companies believe they can offer something different to traditional rail lines. My name is Alan James and as far as I know I'm the only guy on the planet who has written a government level business case for the conventional 300kmh 500 high speed rail. kmh maglev and 1000 kmh foreign hyperloop, it's fundamentally about moving people from where they are to where they want to go when they want to take those trips and doing it in much smaller numbers, so pod designs for hyperloop range from 12 to 28 seating. small is because small allows the network to operate flexibly and a great example of that is the strategic East-West route through the north of England f From Liverpool to Manchester to Leeds, so getting from Liverpool via Manchester to Leeds by train is just under two hours today.
It will probably take you two hours of driving in average traffic conditions as well. The net result is that those three regions of the city remain three separate entities. Liverpool Manchester Leeds there is very little traffic between those urban areas Hyperloop absolutely changes that from scratch Liverpool to Manchester is a five or six minute journey Manchester to Leeds is also a five or six minute journey what it effectively does is create a The only super city economy in this Vision, the hyperloop acts a bit more like a highway where pods have fixed destinations and don't need to stop en route, meaning you can
travelon a hyperloop network from, say, Liverpool to Leeds, while the Pod behind you
travels from Liverpool. to Manchester and that Metro Hyperloop network is connected to other networks from the same location, you could travel from Liverpool to Paris or r Liverpool to Amsterdam, all without making a single stop for commuters, business or pleasure, which is absolutely transformative for high-value transportation and logistics.
It is equally transformative, but in a critical way. -The regional Hyperloop network could become a replacement for both short-haul cargo and passenger flights and traditional ground transportation, both major carbon producers. Highway hubs: A lot of polluting and inefficient trucking is needed off the highways, which in itself means the highways get extra capacity. be done through the use of renewable sources ding a combination of solar panel and battery technology that could be used throughout the hyperloop itself, but even with all the time multipliers and carbon emissions savings that a hyperloop network can provide for the investment. The capital required to actually build such a network becomes even more economical and political. overwhelming committing doesn't mean spending billions on day one committing means how we do it in stages a company in the Netherlands is working to develop that technology and perhaps most importantly the International Coalition needed to make the Hyperloop network a reality so they we are here in Europe. first full scale high school test facility where we can already test every concept hyperloop technology this is Tim hauter co-founder and CEO of delft based heart hyperloop and while this test tube may not look as big as others the inside is key technology to create the on and off ramp type infrastructure of a hyperloop network which is a LAN The change is something we can already test here you can actually see here the track is diverting from one track to two , making it possible to eventually split the high club track into two sections, and in that sense, you can create a complete high. -bloop red, but in the end it will allow you to travel, for example, to an entire continent.
I think that Europe, for example, with the same ease with which you can now travel with a metro in a city. The good thing about this magnetic levitation system that we have. What I have developed is that there is absolutely no moving component to the track, so for example if you have to make a lane change, all it does is the tube basically splits and statically the tracks are also split. they divide and each time the vehicle enters a change it is either pushed to the right with its magnets or to the left with its magnets Changing lanes on traditional rail requires physical movement of the rail, even modern levitation tracks magnetic use lane changing techniques to transfer trains from one track to another and this is a very crucial element because this is what limits the capacity and ultimately the utility of the real network because the moment a track is changing that means which at that moment is creating an unsafe environment for the trains behind it so it needs a lot of space between the trains inside a hyper because it has no moving components on the track all the vehicles they can be much closer to each other it can achieve a very high frequency and basically make your vehicles move and merge on and off the grid much like a freeway for now though physical tests of Hart have seen limited by the size of their tube because the test track is only 30 meters long, they have not tested this Lane changing at speeds above 20 kilometers per hour, however the company is working to build a new test site where plans to increase that test speed to 300 kilometers per hour we are now in a phase where we have tested most of the major technologies in the test facilities we already have and have also demonstrated the feasibility and feasibility of a network if you look all the subsystems that make it up, most of them are already proven systems proven in laboratory conditions, so we don't really believe that the technology itself This is going to be the biggest challenge because for all Hyperloop companies, building a Hyperloop system requires more than just a goodproduct, we're talking about the safety aspects we're talking about integration into the environment we're talking about the social aspects if people are comfortable traveling in such a system then it's about all these different aspects and the complexity is really getting all the different stakeholders that are relevant and that needs to contribute to bringing this to Market so that they're all following the same roadmap to help build this Coalition of public and private entities. interest in the heart of hyperloop development in 2018 partnered with other hyperloop companies from Europe and Canada the goal was to define establish and standardize the framework to regulate hyperloop systems at this time we are working with all hyperloop developers together to establish the first let's say a structure to start writing standards one of the most important goals to heart is interoperability which is essentially making sure that different systems can talk to each other interoperability is very important because what we want to achieve is in You actually have this seamless travel experience, so you don't want to end up, say, going from Madrid to Paris and then switching because you need to use different technology to get to, say, Amsterdam.
The idea is that, as companies across Europe create the first commercial hyperloop lanes between individual cities one day, they will all be able to connect to a larger network. Everyone who believes hyperloop is a future transportation system also realizes it. that there's a need to have this network because that's where hyperloop thrives hyperloop is such a big project it's definitely not something you can do on your own or as a single company so you have to do it with a lot of other companies you need to have the governments. I think, in that sense, the biggest challenge we've faced is really bringing together all the necessary parties to take the steps in development and commercial implementation abroad.
The plan is to build the European Hyperloop Center, an open test facility that will include a 2.6 kilometer test track and the company hopes to test travel speeds of up to 700 kilometers per hour. Virgin Hyperloop is also competing to build the first commercial Hyperloop route with projects. In various development states in India, Saudi Arabia and the United States, the company recently announced plans to build a Hyperloop Certification Center in West Virginia that will include a six-mile long test track demonstrating that the technology here will be crucial if Hyperloop networks can find a home. among the infrastructure investments that the Biden Administration is hoping to make the idea that there are multiple Hyperloop companies I think is a redemptive aspect in the business, people really want to see something happen so having multiple people moving forward is good because It struck me when Josh and Sarah wrote the Pod, two or three of the major outlets used the phrase now we have a new mode of transportation and even though all that technology had been around before those two human beings wrote it, yeah, was the time when those two human beings traveled that short distance on the subway, but in the popular imagination, the hyperloop became a mode of transportation, the I metaphor.
The useful thing with my team is that you know the Wright brothers were the former, but none of us fly Wright Brothers Airlines anymore. If you don't continue to innovate you won't be around and we will continue to be at the forefront of building in 2013 Elon had an idea I think the difference now in 2021 is that some brilliant engineers have spent real time polishing the details and hopefully the next three to five years be decisive
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