What is Hyperloop travel and how does it work? This new form of land transport will enable people to travel at speeds of over 700 miles an hour in the future according to its supporters. A few companies are currently developing this technology.

What Makes Hyperloop Different?

Hyperloop transport routes will be different from traditional land-based routes. Air pods traveling through tunnels will transportpassengers. Most of the air will be removed from these channels to make this form of travel extremely fast. According to experts, friction against the ground is what makes traditional transport so slow.

Thanks to this reduced friction, the pods will travel at speeds of over 800 miles an hour. Transport will function like air hockey tables. The vehicle will need less energy to reach a higher speed because most of the air around it will be removed.

The diameter of the tunnels or tubes, which will be made of steel, will be around 10 feet. The pods carrying passengers will slow down and speed up gradually without stopping at stations.

The Future of Transport?

Hyperloop is set to become the transport of the future if you ask the eccentricCEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk. He believes Hyperloop will reduce the travel time between the San Francisco and LA to just over 30 minutes, and the vehicles will travel at 760 miles an hour. In a white paper, Musk writes that solar panels would be used to power the system reducing the air in tunnels and propelling the pods. Solar panels would be placed on the roofs of the tunnels. People could travel for as little as ten dollars per ticket because solar power is free.

It’s not clear who will pay the installation cost of these solar panels on the tunnels and if they will work at all. It’s also not clear who will build the Hyperloop transport routes and pods. Musk estimates that this would cost around $10 billion, which is about the cost of a bridge.

The Bottom Line

Skepticism toward a form of transportation that’s a combination of a plane and a train remains among the general public and more conventional investors. Yet, Musk isn’t the only proponent of the idea. It seems like Hyperloop could well become the future of transport in Europe and Asia, where Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Virgin Hyperloop One are currently developing Hyperloop routes. Virgin Hyperloop One has even designed prototype air pods seating 40 passengers.