High Speed Transportation


Louis Masonick, Week 11

The need for speed is a goal highly sought after in our world. Any way that can shorten the time we take on menial tasks to be more efficient is greatly appreciated by any and all people. Time that is spent on transportation, doing chores, or even jobs can often be a waste of money. Time is money. Time saved on these tasks allow us to do other things that might be more important, like working at our job, spending time with the family, or even just leisure time. The hyperloop is a concept that aims to greatly reduce travel time in an efficient and sustainable way.

The Hyperloop is a system of giant tubes that propel pods forward. The pods are propelled forward using magnetic accelerators along the way. The tubes would be covered in solar panels for energy use. Air pressure within the tubes is very low, the goal is to have as less air friction as possible in hopes of reaching speeds up to 700mph. To give an idea of how fast this is, the bullet train (fastest in the world) in Japan can only reach maximum speed of 374mph. The system proposed for Los Angeles to San Francisco would cost upwards of $6 billion dollars compared to the California high-rail which is estimated to cost $68 billion.

Not only is the system sustainable by producing its own energy via solar panels, the Hyperloop in effect will save energy from many other transportation systems. The hyperloop has potential to transport people and products eliminating car and semi-truck use therefore eliminating those sources of greenhouse emissions. The picture above is a rendering of what a hyperloop station could possibly look like. The reason this is significant is because no structure has ever been built like this. The closest similarity is a normal train station, but these are uncommon and not often used in the United States. There is potential to design a whole new type of system for a hyperloop station. One that would employ sustainable technology and use automated systems to get passengers to and from the entry and departure area. Of course the biggest drawbacks are cost, one that is yet to be fully imagined and also getting the government onboard. Only time will tell.

source: RB Systems Proposes Cutting Edge Hyperloop System

source: Everything you need to know about the Hyperloop



  1. nrburson

    It is interesting to hear about another idea that Elon Musk attempting to innovate. As you pointed out I see a lot of benefits of this kind of transportation. It is faster which is something that is craved in our present day society. I find it astounding that the ticket price for this would be so much less than the bullet train that has been proposed for Las Angles, which warrants a strong consideration for the application of the Hyperloop. However, there are a couple of reservations that come to mind.

    What would we do with the built infrastructure used for auto transportation between San Fransisco and LA? The proposed cost of the Hyperloop is one thing but it will impact the way people travel. We’ve already put energy in paving and creating a network of roads. Should we invest more energy into a project that will do something that we already have the infrastructure for? I do believe we should look to projects that better our current systems. But it is interesting to think about how this will impact other systems we have created.

    Another thing that comes to mind is the experience of this type of transportation. Going 700 mph sound pretty great, but remember you’ll be in a tube. I wonder about the light quality in these vessels. Traveling for many people is about the scenery and journey. Would that be lost at such speeds in a tube? Another thing to think about is the convenience that car offers compared to the Hyperloop. Anything with a station means that people have to travel to a densely occupied area in order to use the transportation. I can imagine many people sticking with the livery of automobiles because of its comfort and ability to start the journey at one’s front door.

    This is a very interesting project proposal and the article mentions that it is still in its experimental stages. I’m sure the questions that I have about it will be addressed if a real plan for it takes form. 700 mph is faster than airplanes; perhaps we are not just jumping one type of travel with this idea (the train), but two.

  2. zhuofengwang

    The idea of Hyperloop conveys people a possibility that the ground transportation is as fast as or close to the air transportation in speed.It represents a new type of technology that benefits people while saving time. Although scientists and engineers are still busy testing the product, we can foresee that its feasibility is undoubted. It’s said that the solar panel could generate power itself, which it’s energy-free in conditions with ample sunshine. Because of the saving in production cost, the Ticket price might be as little as 25 dollars, which is acceptable for most of the people.
    However, the capsule-like transportation has some problems that affect the customer experience. When people are traveling forward at about 700mph, from a relativistic point of view, objects outside the windows move backward at about the same speed relative to us. When the object is close enough, our eyes can not handle such a fast-moving object, so the whole scene outside the windows will be blurry, which causes severe vertigo. The problem can be solved if the Hyperloop’s tube can use a different material that is not transparent, but it will trigger another problem like claustrophobia, which is not workable for enhancing customer experience.
    There is no doubted that Hyperloop can add something new to the current transportation industry. Once it launches to the market, I think most of the people will go and experience it. Although the market prospect is optimistic, as customers, we should not get rid of the skeptical attitude toward new technology.

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