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Published On: Tue, Mar 27th, 2018

Elon Musk’s and Shervin Pishevar’s Hyperloop Fast Becoming Reality

Hyperloop technology is designed to provide fast travel on land similar to the speeds of air travel without the high costs involved. Hyperloop, a project with several big names attached to it –  Elon Musk and Shervin Pishevar to name a few – has had its shares of setbacks.

The technology has gone from a concept that made waves in 2013 to offering the potential to change the way people travel around cities.

Hyperloop technology is closer to a reality today than it was five years ago, with several companies fighting to build the first fully operational Hyperloop. Virgin Hyperloop One is the most accomplished of all companies, raising $300 million to build a 500-meter-long testing environment called “DevLoop.”

The test environment has been vital in proving the validity of a Hyperloop, with speeds reaching 240 miles per hour. The company wants to connect major areas from Wyoming to Denver. India aims to have the world’s first hyperloop, with Virgin Hyperloop One signing a deal to analyze a link between Pune and Mumbai.

“Hyperloop will turn cities into metro stops,” says co-founder Shervin Pishevar.

Virgin Hyperloop One’s Brent Callinicos stepped down from his position as chief financial officer earlier in March. Callinicos served as an advisor to the Hyperloop project since 2016 and sums up the state of Hyperloop perfectly, claiming “the company has moved from a new technology to being on the verge of commercialization.”

Potential projects are now being discussed in India and Dubai as well as the northeastern United States, with Chicago as a potential hub for Hyperloop.

Virgin also released a passenger pod prototype at the end of February, which is a design that the company plans to use on the Hyperloop One network. The pod has the potential to link Dubai and Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes.

The full-scale passenger pod was a collaboration between Hyperloop One and Dubai’s Road Transport Authority.

Pods can hold up to ten people and will transport 10,000 people per hour to and from Dubai. The white interior, high-definition screens and leather seats designed by BMW show a glimpse of what the futuristic transport will look like. No windows are present, but there are red and blue neon lights along the walkway, ceiling and walls to illuminate the space.

The plan for the Dubai to Abu Dhabi link will bring passengers 87 miles in 12 minutes and is expected to launch in 2020.

Pods have the potential to reach almost 700 miles per hour and will not suffer from turbulence thanks to the lack of air pressure inside of the tubes. Hyperloops will be able to go faster than Boeing 737 plans that hit 485 miles per hour.

Routes across Canada, Sweden and the United States are expected to debut by 2020 if all goes as planned.

The advancements in just five years have pushed the limits of the technology that Elon Musk and Shervin Pishevar discussed before investments started flowing into the technology. Musk recently unveiled a route between Washington and Baltimore that would transport people from each downtown city in around 15 minutes.

Author: Jacob Maslow

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