Updated: Jun 2, 2021

Hyperloop is a concept developed by Space X and Tesla founder Elon Musk for ultra-fast inter-city travel. Using travel pods inside metallic tubes, he calls it as a "fifth mode" of transport in addition to cars, planes, boats, and trains.

The Hyperloop is a high-speed commuter and freight transport system that could reach speeds of around 750 mph (1,210 kmph). Musk's initial design was to take people from downtown Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes – a distance of around 380 miles (610 km).

The Hyperloop could potentially convey people or objects at airline or hypersonic speeds while being energy efficient compared with existing high-speed rail systems.

How does hyperloop work?

The basic idea of Hyperloop as envisioned by Musk is that the passenger pods or capsules travel through a tube, either above or below ground. To reduce friction, most -- but not all -- of the air is removed from the tubes by pumps.

Overcoming air resistance is one of the biggest uses of energy in high speed travel. Airliners climb to high altitudes to travel through less dense air; in order to create a similar effect at ground level, Hyperloop encloses the capsules in a reduced-pressure tube, effectively allowing the trains to travel at airplane speeds while still on the ground.

In Musk's model, the pressure of the air inside the Hyperloop tube is about one-sixth the pressure of the atmosphere on Mars (a notable comparison as Mars is another of Musk's interests). This means an operating pressure of 100 pascals, which reduces the drag force of the air by 1,000 times relative to sea level conditions, and would be equivalent to flying above 150,000 feet.


· Fast, efficient and cheap to operate

· Average speeds of around 600 mph (970 km/h), with a top speed of 760 mph (1,200 km/h)

· Low power consumption

· Uses Solar Energy for power

· Open-sourced, encouraging others to take the ideas and further develop them.

· Hyperloops tubes are protected from the weather, birds, objects on railroad tracks.

· In the event of equipment or electrical failure, the system comes to a stop (does not fall from the sky).

· Automation reduces the risk of human error

· Promotes economic growth around the Hyperloop route

· Reduced freight costs and times


· High cost of development and construction

· Susceptible to disruption from earthquakes, power outages or terror attacks

· No sharp curves or abrupt height changes in the route. Vibration and jostling can occur.

· Potential for rapid decompression of the tube or passenger spaces.

Thank you !

Article written by - Pranay Sadani

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