Hyperloop Facts
Hyperloop Facts

27 Amazing Hyperloop Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published April 18, 2020
  • The idea of Hyperloop transportation was originally pitched by Elon Musk, a famous and controversial technological entrepreneur.[1]
  • Hyperloop travel is a form of pneumatic tube travel.[2]
  • Pneumatic tube technology, which uses a partial vacuum or compressed air to transport objects, has been used in a variety of ways, such as transporting books in libraries, money and paperwork at banks, and as a mail delivery system in Paris.[2]
  • Although Hyperloop is considered a “futuristic” technology, the basic idea originates from 100-year-old attempts to develop cars that would move by air compression.[1]
  • Companies in India and Europe are already working on building the actual tubes and pods for Hyperloop tracks, while two start-up companies in the United States are exploring its development as a public transportation system.[1]
  • Proponents claim that Hyperloop technology would be more sustainable than the modern aviation industry.[1]
  • Elon Musk Hyperloop
    Hyperloop travel is the brainchild of tech mogul Elon Musk
  • The initial brain behind the Hyperloop project, Elon Musk is also the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla.[4]
  • If successful, Hyperloop transportation will move at speeds faster than 600 mph—fast enough to be viable for travel across the United States.[1]
  • Hyperloop technology proposes using vacuums and air compression to move transportation pods through massive tubes.[1]
  • Hyperloop investors predict that the cost of travel by Hyperloop would be much less expensive than the current cost of flying.[1]
  • One limitation to Hyperloop is the lack of a feasible way to travel from continent to continent, as Hyperloop vehicles will require “tracks” of hollow tubes to travel through.[1]
  • Detractors say that Hyperloop will never be able to fully replace other forms of transportation, due to the physical discomfort certain segments of the population, such as the elderly, would experience at such high speeds.[1]
  • A major concern regarding Hyperloop is the difficulty of stopping the pods and allowing people to exit quickly in case of an emergency.[1]
  • Although Hyperloop pods would travel at speeds comparable to aircraft, riders wouldn’t experience the unpleasant sensations associated with the liftoff and landing of airplanes.[1]
  • Hyperloop pneumatic transit
    Though it was only in operation for a few years, the Beach Pneumatic Transit was definitely ahead of its time
  • A precursor to Hyperloop travel was tried in the 1870s in New York City. Beach Pneumatic Transit briefly allowed people to travel a short distance in Manhattan in underground, pneumatic passenger capsules.[2]
  • Virgin Hyperloop One, an American company working to develop the technology, built a test track in Nevada; in 2017, pods on the track were able to travel at speeds of 240 mph.[1]
  • In India, where a state government approved further development of Hyperloop technology for public transit, it is predicted that Hyperloop service will be possible by the year 2029.[1]
  • A road trip that currently takes around 16 hours by car would take less than 2 hours by Hyperloop.[3]
  • The two forces that slow a railway train down, drag and friction, would be reduced to nearly zero in Hyperloop tubes, where pods would travel in tubes that had the air pumped out of them and would be kept frictionless through magnetic forces.[3]
  • Elon Musk, who first developed the concept of Hyperloop travel, offered his research as an open-source resource available to everyone.[2]
  • Hyperloop Elon Musk
    Musk released his proposed approach to Hyperloop travel to the world

  • Some countries currently have trains that use magnetic levitation, one of the two main principles behind Hyperloop. In Japan, a “maglev” train can travel at speeds up to 375 mph.[3]
  • In 2015, Elon Musk's company SpaceX sponsored a competition for engineers to design pods that would be able to travel at high speeds while keeping passengers safe and possessing the capacity to slow down almost instantly. Several more such competitions have been held since.[3]
  • The proposed Hyperloop train would speed up slowly to its regular traveling speed of around 510 mph, in order to avoid making passengers sick.[2]
  • Hyperloop Travel
    It should be a smooth ride
  • Engineers at Virgin Hyperloop One claim that riding in a Hyperloop train will be so smooth that passengers' coffee cups won't slide, even when traveling at 600 mph.[2]
  • The three major companies currently working to develop Hyperloop travel in North America are the Los Angeles-based companies Virgin Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, and Toronto-based company TransPod.[2]
  • Engineers working on Hyperloop travel claim that a company developing Hyperloop travel will earn their money back after only a decade, due to energy savings above that of traditional modes of transportation.[2]
  • In addition to transporting people, Hyperloop could be used to ship goods.[2]

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