Have you ever pondered on the wish of travelling city to city in speeds never thought of, but quickly dismissed the thought at an attempt of being realistic? Well, think again! Besides, even the word impossible says “I’m possible” right? This question was the drive behind Elon Musk’s startup company, Hyperloop One, which helped us discover the answer to this widespread question to be: YES!
Elon Musk once spoke about a revolutionary new form of transportation that’s one part Concorde, one part railgun, and one part air hockey table. People travelling supersonically, forever changing our perspectives on transportation.
The Hyperloop is basically levitating pods in near-vacuum tubes that would travel near the speed of sound. By Elon’s calculations, a Hyperloop from Los Angeles to San Francisco would take just 36 minutes and thinks the hyperloop is our only option for super-fast travel.
When demonstrated, the Hyperloop was seen rocketing a sled down a short section of track using magnetic levitation technology and reached 120mph in 1.5 seconds. These aluminium sleds are definitely fast, but what about the common motion sickness we’d worry about? Sorted!
The Hyperloop is so fast you wouldn’t feel a thing, cheap, weatherproof, crash-proof and always on time as you wouldn’t have to wait for services to utilise it.
Elon Musk, who released the proposal of the Hyperloop Concept on newspapers, gave entrepreneurs the opportunity to create the Hyperloop, describing it to be a steel tube with air removed to create a vacuum. The passenger pods should then be driven by electric motors that can travel at speeds of over 1,200kph. Beneath the pods, some of the air would still remain, allowing them to ‘float’ inside the tube. This would enable the passengers to travel at high speeds without feeling it. Powered by solar panels and placed on concrete pylons along highways makes the Hyperloop eco-friendly and efficiently placed to reduce the cost of acquiring land.
Of course, just like any other new innovation, there’s been mixed emotions about the Hyperloop. While many asserted that the Hyperloop would solve the issue of divisions amongst regions and improve economies through easy exports and imports, others sceptically thought it was just an ambitious concept. However, Dubai has agreed to work with Hyperloop One and implement the supersonic transportation mode from Emirati to Abu Dhabi in minutes!
Finally, Elon Musk’s vision is gradually coming to life thanks to Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Technologies. Elon is always seeking new innovations to pursue which excites engineers worldwide with possible new technologies, such as the “xenon ion engine” that NASA is working on, capable of sending robot-controlled spacecraft capable of travelling to deep space at 200,00 mph!
The evolution of transport just seems to get better and better by the second, and with serial entrepreneurs like Musk constantly pushing innovators globally to think out of the box, we still have a lot more to expect! Grab your popcorns and thinking caps everybody!
Elon Reeve Musk is a South African-born Canadian-American business magnate, investor, engineer, and inventor, who makes us proud to be South African innovators!