News of the pending construction of Hyperloop’s 5-mile test track has generated a lot of buzz among travel junkies. The idea originally came from Elon Musk’s track plan for Texas. This new version, however, will be built in Quay Valley, California, and is estimated to cost roughly a hundred million dollars.
Try to imagine the pneumatic tubes that are used to transfer objects from one place to another, similar to what you can find in big companies or banks. Now, picture the same concept, except with people. Travelers and commuters will essentially enter a pod and be rocketed through tubes at speeds of 600 MPH. This is the main idea behind the Hyperloop and inch by inch, its construction is drawing closer to reality.
The original plan is to have a town around the Hyperloop, though this idea may face some scalability issues. With this kind of prototype, an extremely large amount of money is needed, even for a small test track. Realistically speaking, in order for the Hyperloop to create a greater impact and alter the travel industry, the cost must eventually drop to an estimated amount of twenty thousand dollars per mile.
But regardless of cost, let’s assume that the Hyperloop is really the full-scale solution for the future. What effect will it have?
First off, travel time will be severely cut. A person traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles can do so in a matter of 40 minutes or less. Scrap the 7 hours of driving time and those plane flights, this proposes a completely different way to travel without the hassle. Another plus is that this technology is sustainable with the use of water reclamation and is also powered by solar panels.
However, there are still opponents of the Hyperloop who are not convinced. A major issue regards security. Unlike in airports, wherein everyone and everything is continuously monitored and checked, the Hyperloop may not be secure enough, although advanced surveillance cameras and new security gadgets may help to avoid some fatal incidents.
Either way, it is safe to assume that the Hyperloop will pretty much affect almost everything; massive political and financial discussions are already anticipated to take place. The technology can potentially change the entire future of travel for the better, so thorough planning is key to make this idea a success.