Elon Musk’s hyperloop is set to transport passengers at over 1000 kilometres per hour with a high standard of efficiency and almost no fuel costs.
The hyperloop is based on an old familiar concept, the pneumatic tube mail. The system was often utilised in department and hardware stores. Using compressed air, it transported a capsule vertically within a building.
A hyperloop is a close adaptation of this, but the tube is horizontal and the capsule (or pod) is propelled through a vacuum using a small engine.
Typically, a normal train will use up 90 percent of its energy on air resistance. The hyperloop is based inside the tube in which almost all the air is taken out. This means the capsule no longer encounters resistance. Thus, the pod can travel at a much faster speed, consuming very little energy.
Similarly, a magnetic levitation system has replaced traditional guide rails in some areas and has proven effective at high speed. Although a system travelling at approximately 1000km per hour would provide greater efficiency.
Companies exploring this new concept of transportation have already identified Australia as a potential market. The prime travel line is expected to be from Sydney to Melbourne. Currently, testing is underway in a special facility in Nevada, USA.
Companies developing the hyperloop are yet to test the transport using human passengers. Many experts have claimed you can never be sure how a normal human being will react to the high speeds. Humanity has travelled at the 1000km previously, however, the acceleration and deceleration process is completely different.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has proven to be increasingly curious in this area of innovation. Musk has funded a worldwide student competition based on the development of the hyperloop and has since become more public about his interest in the area. Although no official date has been announced, Musk holds no doubt the hyperloop will be the transport of the future.