The Hyperloop Is Not Gone! MIT Students Just Designed a New Pod Model

It seems like it was only yesterday that Elon Musk came forward and presented his revolutionary transport idea that was the Hyperloop. Back in 2012, when he first unveiled the idea in a 57-page white paper, people were filled with excitement, but skepticism as well. After all, his idea seemed bold and impossible, but the thought of managing to achieve something like that filled us all with a fresh dose of motivation.

For those of you who are only hearing about this concept now, the Hyperloop is supposed to revolutionize the long-distance public transport system by installing a network of above-ground tubes that is supposed to stretch across hundreds of miles. The tubes would have very low air pressure inside, which would allow levitating capsules that have plenty of people inside to travel the distance at almost supersonic speeds.

While the subject wasn’t discussed as much as it should, it was obvious that the Hyperloop concept had certain benefits to offer:

  • It would bring about a new, more efficient mode of transport – Without a doubt, something like this would offer people new means of public transport that are in accordance with the modern society we live in. According to estimates, a Hyperloop network between Los Angeles and San Francisco would cut the commute time of 6 to 7 hours to around 30 minutes.
  • It would cost less money – Musk outlined the fact that a project like this could potentially save a lot of taxpayer money, especially when compared to other modes of transport. Plus, something like the Hyperloop would apparently be easier and more cost-efficient to maintain.
  • It might boost the economy – This is not only due to all the money this project might save, but also because of how easy it would make it for the working class to commute. It would potentially allow people to apply to any jobs without having to worry about relocating or spending a lot of time commuting between work and home. In turn, this might reduce the unemployment rate and boost economic growth.

The idea definitely sounds futuristic and might seem impossible, but judging by how much our species has managed to achieve over the years, I think it’s safe to assume we could handle it. After all, Musk even said he fully trusts that the Hyperloop could work very well on Mars.

Musk didn’t specify what he intended to do back then, since he already had his hands full with SpaceX and Tesla Motors, but he did encourage anyone who felt they could rise to the challenge to start working on a Hyperloop concept.

Which brings us to our current subject: The MIT students who won a Hyperloop design contest

In my opinion, it’s hardly a surprise that students from MIT managed to win this contest. After all, the idea was to design an appealing pod that would function well from an engineering perspective. Plus, it’s not a small feat at all. That Hyperloop pod is what will carry all the people across those vast distances at incredible speeds, so it’s vital that it’s safe and working well.

However, one issue does seem to stand out, namely that the MIT students designed the pod without taking passengers or their cargo into account. I’m not sure if that was a deliberate choice or if it was an oversight, although I highly doubt the latter would be true.

Still, two companies have already made their interest public. The first one, Hyperloop Technologies, is led by former Cisco exec Rob Lloyd and Brogan BamBrogan, a SpaceX engineer. They have already stated that they wish to make this project come true by 2020. This also explains the interest they displayed in the competition that took place.

The other company, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, which was formed by a group of engineers from all sorts of companies, already stated that they plan to start working on a full-scale test track for this new mode of transportation.

All I can say is that this entire project seems very promising future-wise. If something like this does come to fruition, it’s safe to say that our way of life will be significantly improved.

If you are interested in learning more about anything that has to do with the latest innovations in the automobile industry, be sure to check out the rest of my blog. Also, feel free to leave any insight you might have to offer in the comment section below.

Philipp Kandal