People that continue to push forward the boundaries of technology and science in order to strive for change, strive for difference and for improvement of our world. People that continually challenge, that have an altogether different perspective, that never settle and constantly look for ways to improve the status quo. Elon Musk is one of these people

Hyperloop One – An opportunity to commercially transport passengers and freight at speeds in excess of 700mph in small hermetically sealed tubes is the vision and dream of Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of PayPal, currently involved with potentially game-changing companies OpenAI, Tesla, Space X, Solar City and Powerwall.

Musk predicts Hyperloop One will become the fifth form of transport, standing proudly alongside planes, trains, automotive and boats, where passengers can jump on board one of the 28 seater pods and be transported at close to the speed of sound and at a fraction of the cost offered for the same distances today.

The Hyperloop One Pilot project will provide a connection between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a journey that currently takes’s 6 hours by car and a day by train – Hyperloop One predicts 30 minutes. Many believe that the pitfalls including making such a project reliable while mitigating the potentially catastrophic risks off travelling at such speed are too great for such a project to ever to become a reality. There is also the cost, estimated to be around $6Billion, which many believe is unrealistic.

Los Angeles to San Francisco journey time –  6 hours by car and 12 hours by train – Hyperloop One  –  30 minutes.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s current Maglev bullet train project which envisions the uniting of the two cities is costing an estimated $60Billion, ten times that of Hyperloop One. The recent renovation costs of the San Francisco Bay Bridge topped out at $6.4Billion and back in 1988, the Anglo-French Channel Tunnel project cost in today’s money $17Billion, four times its original estimate. Wherever the final project costing land is anyone’s guess but history tells us that innovation, progression and global change on this scale cannot be measured solely on commercial grounds.

Current designs for the Hyperloop Pods describe space for 28 passengers positioned as two rows of fourteen seats, approximately 2.5 metres high and 1,5 metres wide. The Pod itself sits on the perforated ski like tracks that allow the Pod to hover, or levitate on a cushioned platform of air, similar to that of an ice hockey game. The air is pumped from the speed of the pod moving through the tube assisted by powerful electric compressors. To give the pods their initial push off, magnets fitted to the pod ski’s coupled with the electromagnetic pulse will be used to give the pod its initial start, which Musk describes as similar to what we experience when taking off on a plane.

Looking beyond the innovation and excitement a project of this magnitude generates,  Hyperloop One has to be commercially viable if it is to attract the level of investment it will need for it to be globally scaled and become, as Elon Musk predicts, the world’s fifth and most cost effective means of transport.

Hyperloop One has to be commercially viable if it is to attract the level of investment required for it to be globally scaled if it is to and become the world’s fifth and most cost effective means of transport.

 

Some 2722ft above the Dubai skyline, stands the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. It was here that the futuristic city of Dubai announced a deal with Hyperloop One, to study the potential for building a line linking it to the Emirate capital of Abu Dhabi. Current journey times from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is 90 minutes by car compared to Hyperloop One estimating just 12 minutes.

In May 2016, a full-scale feasibility study was published by Hyperloop One that detailed the connecting of the cities of Helsinki and Stockholm via Hyperloop. Both capitals are not that easy to get to with a ferry time of approximately 18 hours and a plane journey of 4 hours (including airport arrival and waiting) between to the two cities. Again, Hyperloop One estimates a journey time of just 28 minutes. KPMG, who were involved in the feasibility study have suggested that connecting of these two cities via Hyperloop One would be extremely smart –

  • Value of time saved per year – €321
  • Passengers per year – 43Million
  • Revenue per year – €1Billion
  • Gross Operating Profit per year – €800Million
  • Estimated project cost – €19Billion

People that continue to push forward the boundaries of technology and science in order to strive for change, for difference and for improvement of our world. People that continually challenge, that have an altogether different perspective, that never settles and constantly looks for ways to improve the status quo. Hyperloop one, whether born out of philanthropic ideal or simple commercial smarts is one such project being driven by people that really do see the bigger picture – the concern I have is – will the reats of the world see the bigger picture to?