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Hyperloop One unveils grand vision for India, but don’t get too excited yet

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17th International Conference for Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES17) – New Delhi, 5th-7th October, 2017

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The Indian Express | Shruti Dhapola | New Delhi | February 28, 2017 |

HyperLoop One, the US-based startup that wants to revolutionise how the world travels, today showcased its vision for India.

Hyperloop One, the US-based startup that wants to revolutionise how the world travels, today showcased its vision for India at an event in Delhi. Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu and Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant also attended the event.  For those who don’t know, Hyperloop as an idea was originally proposed by SpaceX and Tesla boss Elon Musk. Hyperloop could allow for passengers, freight to be transported at super-fast speeds, more than 1000 km per hour which is faster than airlines, in a levitating pod that would travel in a vacuum tube. Hyperloop One’s own website describes the mode of transport in these words, “We use a custom electric motor to accelerate and decelerate a levitated pod through a low-pressure tube. The vehicle will glide silently for miles with no turbulence.” Essentially these pods are autonomous, and it would mean high-speed travel inside a tube.  Hyperloop One, which has been around for two years, held a global competition in 2016 asking contestants to pitch a proposal on where all the network should be built. The company says it received over 2000 entries, and out of the 30 semi-finalists it has picked five from India. Interestingly Hyperloop claims India had the highest number of registrants. The list of semi-finalist teams from India are AECOM, LUX Hyperloop Network, Dinclix GroundWorks, Hyperloop India, and Infi-Alpha.

HyperLoop One, which has been around for two years, held a global competition in 2016 asking contestants to pitch a proposal on where all the network should be built.

HyperLoop One, which has been around for two years, held a global competition in 2016 asking contestants to pitch a proposal on where all the network should be built.

Each of these teams has proposed a route for the network according India. For instance, Dinclix GroundWorks has pitched an ambitious 55 minutes travel time from Delhi to Mumbai via Jaipur, which is a total distance of 1,317 kms. AECOM has pitched Bengaluru to Chennai, which is 334 kms in 20 minutes. LUX Hyperloop Network has proposed route for Bengaluru to Thiruvananthapuram in 41 minutes. Hyperloop India has pitched Mumbai to Chennai via Bengaluru in 50 minutes. Finally Infi-Alpha has proposed Bengaluru to Chennai in 20 minutes. While Delhi to Mumbai in 55 minutes sounds like the stuff of dreams, Hyperloop is an idea that has not been tested. The company is still testing its original pod technology, and will be doing the first public demonstration of its technology in Nevada desert in the summer of 2017. But it seems the idea has found some initial enthusiasm in India. Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said the Indian government will be exploring these new technologies keenly, and will see what else can be done to improve transportation in the country. “The government of India will be delighted to work with Hyperloop One. We have to transform urbanisation and how we do transportation, and for that we need disruptive technology, that changes how we transport. Hyperloop One is one way,” said Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant at the event.

 “A technology like Hyperloop will affect society, business. It will give back time to citizens of the world. We’re looking to co-develop the technology in India with a partner. The pods would be manufactured in India, once this becomes operational,” said Shervin Pishevar, who is the Executive chairman and co-founder of Hyperloop One. The idea that Hyperloop One is proposing could mean systemic shifts in how urbanisation is viewed. It could mean you live in Chennai, but end up working in Bengaluru, because travel time is reduced drastically. Hyperloop One is a privately-held company and currently has over 225 people working for it. The company claims HyperLoop will be a more efficient, environmentally and cost friendly way of traveling with no direct emissions or noise. It also claims to be less expensive unlike high-speed rail and maglev (magnetic levitation) rains which require power along the entire track. But of course, for Hyperloop One the challenges are many. For starters in a country like India, should Hyperloop One end up being approved it would face a multitude of regulatory challenges. One of the questions raised will be whether Hyperloop would come under the railways or civil aviation or an entirely new body. Safety would be another concern. For now, the Hyperloop One idea sounds like a cool way to travel that is yet to be tested. The first public test takes place in 2017, and the company wants to have three systems in service by the year 2021. – Courtesy

IndHyperloop One, a company that is building what it calls the next generation travel infrastructure, is now here in India. The company held a media event in Delhi on Tuesday to announce that it was actively looking to develop five high-speed corridors in India, linking the major cities of India, with Hyperloop that is a theoretical transportation mode with speed of as high as 1100 kilometres per hour. Although for now the whole thing is a concept, Hyperloop One said that with help from Indian government it could make the super high-speed travel in India a possibility in the coming years. Indian Railways minister Suresh Prabhu, who was at the event, said that the government was “very keenly watching the new developments and technologies. “We are watching all of these (new technologies) very keenly and we are working to modernise the Indian railways,” said Prbhu, while adding that all companies are welcome to explore their ideas with the government. He also said the Indian government has a very rigorous and transparent bidding process through which it awards contracts for projects like new transportation corridor.

India Today: Javed Anwar – 28 Feb 2017 |  Hyperloop, as a concept, envisages special pods with passengers moving at a very high-speed inside sealed tube-like tunnel. The pods are accelerated using electric motor and because the tube is sealed there is very little resistance inside it, which helps the pods move at a very fast pace. Hyperloop One says that it is the only company that has been able to demonstrate that this technology can work. “While other start-ups have not yet moved beyond basic research, Hyperloop One is the only company that is building a functional Hyperloop system (part of a pilot project in the US),” noted the company. “Hyperloop One will help accelerate India’s growth towards building substantial infrastructure that is financially and environmentally sustainable,” said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One. “We are already working with the governments around the world on passenger and freight projects, and we look forward to also partnering with India to support this endeavor.” Hyperloop One said that it got 126 applications from India in response to its Hyperloop One Global Challenge last year. The campaign was launched to seek route ideas from people. Of the 126, the company has shortlisted 5 routes in India on which it wants to focus. All of this sounds pretty well. So what is the problem? There are two. One, the Hyperloop is still a concept. It’s a technology that companies are working on but they are yet to show its viability from technology as well as financial point of view. The second problem is that Hyperloop One would need to a lot of permissions from Indian government and will have to enter into a partnership with the public sector. This sounds easy but it is actually pretty tricky as well as can take a long time. So, for now as well as for another 5 years at least, if you want to go to a city in quick time, your best bet will remain airplane.  Courtesy   /   https://hyperloop-one.com/

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