What is the Hyperloop?

1. The Idea

The idea was proposed in 2012 by billion dollar inventor Elon Musk  (CEO of SpaceX & founder of Tesla motors) for a new mode of transport. This came about after news of a high-speed rail system currently under development in Califonia.

2. Hybrid Transport 

This newly proposed mode of transport is a cross between the train and the aeroplane. The idea uses the current design for transporting people and goods at near aeroplane speeds.

Credit: Inhabitat

3. The Design 

The primary design consists of two massive tubes suspended on a platform with people-sized pods inside. The pods will be designed to transport people and goods to eliminate barriers of distance and time. The initial design presented by Elon Mask can be found here.

Credit: Elon Musk

4. Reason Behind the Tubes

The design will have two tubes suspended on a platform for the pods to move in either direction (one going north, the other going south). This will allow people and goods to move in different directions.

Credit: Elon Musk


5. The Speed

Pods inside the tubes will carry passengers and goods at speeds over 700 Miles (1126 Km) per hour. For the technical guys out there, this is just over Mach 1.

Expected Speeds

6. How Will They Do This?

The idea is to have a combination of magnetic levitation (similar to a maglev train) and vacuum systems. By combining these technologies together it will allow the pods to levitate (lift off the ground) inside the tubes and propel itself with almost no friction. You can find out how it works in more detail here.

7. Who is Doing This?

The Hyperloop concept is currently an open design, meaning that anyone with valued feedback on the idea is welcomed. Being an open design concept a number of start-up companies and universities have been trying to perfect the idea and make it a reality.

8. Who Is Leading?

One of the lead companies running the idea is Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Credit: Hyperloop Transportation Technology

9. Whats Happening Around The World?

South Korea aims to fire up a Hyperloop in just four years. The popular website Wired has full coverage on this. The most recent (at the time this article was written) successful test run of the Hyperloop design is by start-up company Hyperloop One.

10. Interested in More?

The design of the Hyperloop is still undergoing tests and still being perfected. If you are interested in finding out more on this fascinating mode of transportation, click here.


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