Construction of first full scale passenger Hyperloop capsule underway; delivery likely in early 2018
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) has begun construction of the first full scale passenger Hyperloop capsule. The company claims that this capsule is the culmination of over three years and thousands of hours of design, research and analysis. The Hyperloop will run on renewable energy. There will be solar panels on the top of the tube, wind turbines in the pylons, which will generate energy.
Construction of hyperloop is underway at HTT's R&D center in Toulouse, France for integration and optimisation, and according to officials, the high- tech capsule will be delivered in early 2018.
The capsule will be utilised in a commercial system soon to be announced from the ongoing negotiations and feasibility studies currently taking place around the world.
Originally proposed by Elon Musk, the hyperloop is based on the idea of levitating pods that would travel in near vacuum tubes at over 1,223 km/hr (760 mph). In late 2012 till August 2013, a group of engineers from both Tesla and SpaceX worked on the conceptual modelling of Hyperloop, and it was an open source design concept.
In May 2016, Hyperloop One successfully tested its levitating electromagnetic motor, with the sled reaching speeds of 187 km/hr. On Jan 27 to 29, 2017 second hyperloop test was held near SpaceX’s Hawthorne, California headquarters.
Leveraging this revolutionary concept in the cargo and transportation industry, Hyperloop One and global trade enabler DP World are working together to study the viability of using hyperloop technology to unload ocean container cargo at Jebel Ali port in Dubai. Containers would travel swiftly via hyperloop to an inland depot, while minimizing the impact on local surface traffic.
Meanwhile, in December 2016, Nitin Gadkari, India’s Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India received a Letter of Intent (LoI) from Hyperloop Transportation Technologies which proposed to minimise the time taken to travel between cities with its ultra-speed transportation system. For now, it is looking at bridging the travel time between Mumbai and Pune to flat 10 minutes, according to media reports. Apart from a connector between Mumbai and Pune, the company is considering four other routes including Chennai and Bengaluru. The distance between the two cities which is nearly 346 kilometers, will only take around 30 minutes using this revolutionary technology, that too, in a fraction of the cost of an airplane ticket.
Once the approvals are in place, Hyperloop will conduct a feasibility study in six to eight months, and operations can start in 38 months.
HTT’s capsule is built in collaboration with Carbures S.A, an expert in fuselage and advanced materials construction in both aeronautics and aerospace. The final specifications of the capsule are approximately 30 metres (98.5 feet) long, with a diameter of 2.7 meters (9 feet), weighing 20 tonnes, and with a capacity of 28-40 passengers. Speed of this capsule is approximately up to 1,223 km/hr.
Dirk Ahlborn, CEO, HTT said, "We are building the world's first full scale passenger hyperloop capsule. We are taking a passenger first approach to guarantee that safety is always our number one concern. It has been crucial in our development to go past the simple requirements of freight in order to build a better and safer system for everyone."
"We have some of the best global talent as part of our team. Tapping into this expertise ensures we are able to build not just faster, but better. Hyperloop comes to life because we're building this company in a smarter way," said HTT, Chairman Bibop Gresta.