A company called Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, startups are taking baby steps to present what the future of transportation could be.
These Hyperloop has lightning speeds transportation and it can change the way India moves its people and cargo. From the capital of country (New Delhi) to Mumbai via Jaipur and Indore in just 80 minutes. Or, Bengaluru to Chennai in 21 minutes. While we are in queue to establish the half-a-century old 300 kmph bullet train to be a reality, the lightning speed 1,300 kmph plus future in transportation is already knocking at indian doors.
While India needs cleaner and faster transportation and both the companies have India in its crosshairs. However, there is no government ministry or body to take initiative to establish the Hyperloop vision in the country.
What do you think that Is it the time that the government should stop chasing the missed bullet train and should look forward to take this opportunity and get on-board to lead in Hyperloop transport globally? Or, is the entire Hyperloop story a mere hype created by startups to fantasize sci-fi movies?
Naushad Oomer, Business Development Head – India, Hyperloop One, in an exclusive interaction with Debashis Sarkar of News18.com shares the company’s India plans and the challenges it is facing.
Q: Getting a full scale transportation infrastructure involves a lot of challenges. What are the major roadblocks you are facing right now?
There is no particular challenge which is unique to India. Any project like this, globally, brings along with significant challenges related to local and environmental constraints along with land acquisition and other urban hiccups. There is no new challenge to build Hyperloop in India. It is similar to what any railways or metro rail projects already face.
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How easy or difficult is it to build Hyperloop tracks in urban regions?
Overall, it is going to have a lean construction. The tracks will be elevated and based on pylons. The components are mostly modular. So, you can just bring the tubes and set them in place. The construction can take place with minimal disruption.
Also, as it is all raised on pylons, it will take minimal land as compared to high-speed railway tracks. For high-speed railway tracks, you will need a flat wide corridor of up to 150 feet land or build expensive tunnels. At Hyperloop One, we are always trying to scale down the construction in terms of costs.
You are talking about transport speeds faster than aircrafts. Does it mean that the Hyperloop tickets will cost more than airline tickets?
Building the infrastructure is going to be expensive. But once the Hyperloop network is in place it is going to be a different story. We are using vacuum and magnetic levitation to get high speeds. So, the energy consumption is very low compared to other faster modes of transport like bullet trains or aircrafts. The maintenance cost of Hyperloop pod is low as there is no mechanical contact happening real-time. This means there will be less wear-and-tear due to friction. Also, the pods are weather-proof.
Essentially, all these savings from running cost will directly translate to savings for thepassengers. Given the mass transport market in India, we are expecting over 20,000 passengers during peak hours. Thus, the cost of tickets can be lower.
While it is too early to comment on the exact ticket prices, our goal is to make Hyperloop tickets cheaper than existing fast modes of transport in the country like airlines and railways.
Hyperloop One has already showcased it DevLoop in Nevada Desert. Are you planning to build local demonstration zones in India as well to convince the government?
There is no point building the same “test track” that is already there in Nevada in some rural area in India to prove the technology to the government. Instead of building test tracks, which goes from nowhere to nowhere, we are happy to invite government stakeholder to come and look at the Hyperloop system at the Nevada Desert Development Site.
Once the government is convinced, we can work on a “proof of operations” project by connecting two cities at a later date.
By when can we expect the first fully-functional Hyperloop system?
We are expecting to have a fully-operational Hyperloop transport system by 2021. It can come up anywhere in the world. If India wants to take the lead then the government needs to act fast now. We are actively looking are local manufacturing as well and India could take the lead and be the global exporters of this technology.
(Credit : News18)
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