Build as the fastest way to cross the surface of the earth Hyperloop represents the greatest leap in transport infrastructure for generations with passengers sitting in pods that travel its airline speed through pressurized tubes using electric propulsion and magnetic levitation the hyperloop concept promises to slash many times between major cities from several hours to a matter of minutes whilst it may feel like science fiction Hyperloop is now on the cusp of becoming a reality.
So let’s find out How does Hyperloop work?, What is Hyperloop technology?, Concept of Virgin Hyperloop One, and Hyperloop Pod Competitions hosted across the globe to promote inventions and improvements in the current technology.
Hyperloop was first conceived in 2012 by Elon Musk in a white paper released the following year musk set out his vision for a futuristic super high-speed transportation system. They would see passenger pods move through a partial vacuum in steel tubes addressing the two key factors that slow down conventional vehicle friction and air resistance exploring a potential route between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Musk believes that his concept could slash the eight-hour bus ride four-hour train journey and convoluted three-hour air travel experience between the two cities to just 30 minutes.
Under Musk’s first Hyperloop proposal he suggested that compression fans would move air around the passenger pods to minimize drag and create air bearings beneath them floating them off the surface of the tubes.
Musk’s first Hyperloop concept never came to function, but the impressive idea and potential to link cities in such a direct way sparked intense interest from inception mosque had always stated that the concept of Hyperloop would be open-source and he actively encouraged others to come together and develop the necessary technology independently from his involvement.
This led to the formation of several startups and student teams developing various aspects of Hyperloop technology with varying degrees of success now several fully-fledged companies are making significant strides to bring Hyperloop systems into reality.
Hyperloop Transportation technologies are making aggressive advancements and recently constructed a full-scale test track in France but the clear leaders of the pack in the current standings are Virgin Hyperloop One.
Virgin Hyperloop One
Virgin Hyperloop one achieves their bold ambition of bringing a Hyperloop system into operation by 2021 originally formed in 2014 as Hyperloop one the company was rebranded following a significant investment from Sir Richard Branson in 2017 deviating slightly from Musk’s original plan Virgin Hyperloop One’s technology combines two basic principles discussed below.
- The first is magnetic levitation or maglev a technology used in mana rails to lift the passenger pods and move them along their rails magnetic levitation uses two sets of magnets one to repel the train from the track and lifted upwards and the other to move the floating train along the track at the considerable speed with reduced friction.
- The second principle is the use of a low-pressure vacuum-sealed environment for the passenger pods to travel through by removing most of the air from the tubes and having no contact with the ground the pods face little to no resistance as they move air pressures inside the tube are equivalent to flying two hundred thousand feet above sea level such an environment enables the pods to reach speeds of over 760 miles per hour using very little energy by virtue of being in a tube the system is protected from the weather and can operate in almost any climatic conditions
Virgin Hyperloop one’s system is controlled by advanced software that ensures acceleration and deceleration occurred gradually going relatively unnoticed by those traveling inside having built a 500-meter track in the Nevada desert. Virgin Hyperloop One have carried out several tests focusing on individual aspects of the system and a complete full-scale systems test in May 2017. The propulsion braking levitation and vacuum systems are all performing well and the team have achieved a top speed of over two hundred and forty miles per hour to date to inform their plans for developing a fully operational network that is affordable for all, Virgin Hyperloop One launched a global challenge to find the routes best placed to benefit from Hyperloop technology with over 2,600 entries.
The field was reduced to just 35 potential locations with each entry enjoying strong support from governments and urban plans with 10 winners across five countries Virgin Hyperloop One is now working in partnership with each of the locations on how best to deliver the Hyperloop technologies in live networks in February 2018.
The firm unveiled its first prototype passenger pods for the Dubai to Abu Dhabi route a network that would drastically slash the car travel time between the two cities from 2 hours to just 12 minutes.
The advantages of Hyperloop are considerable like train stations Hyperloop stations called portals are planned to be located within inner-city areas with easy links to existing transport infrastructure. This gives Hyperloop systems a distinct advantage over air travel where airports tend to be located beyond city limits with fewer accessibility options.
Additionally, the system is being developed to function on a turn-up and go principle without a lengthy check-in process and with accelerated advanced security checks, another clear benefit is its speed.
Hyperloop Pod Competitions
SpaceX organized hyperloop pod competitions for students and non-student teams around the world. The participating teams are required to build a subscale prototype transport vehicle to demonstrate the technical feasibility of various aspects of the Hyperloop concept. All competitions and judging have occurred in the United States. The fourth year of competition has been announced for summer 2019. Till now a group of engineering students from the Technical University of Munich, has won SpaceX’s Hyperloop pod competition for the third time–and broken a Hyperloop pod speed record in the process,This time their new pod reached speeds of more than 290 mph–twice what their winning pod from the 2017 competition achieved.