Virgin unveiled the first Hyperloop Pod at the UAE Innovation Month. The Hyperloop sounds like something straight out of science fiction. The idea is a low-pressure tube that propels pods toward a destination. For a frame of reference, think of the tubes you use at the drive-thru of your bank. You put your check or deposit into the canister, load the canister into the tube, and then the pressure either pulls or pushes the canister to the teller. The Hyperloop is similar, the difference being what is loaded into the canister, or pod. The idea isn’t new. Discussions go back as far as 1909. Elon Musk is the latest to take on the project in partnership with Shervin Pishevar. The idea has been pitched to many people and countries, including President Barack Obama and the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority.
The Hyperloop One uses magnetic levitation to allow the pod to “float” above the tube, then using pressure, the pod is pushed through the tube. The system allows the pod to travel at an estimated 1,200 kilometers per hour. At those speeds, you could travel from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in just 30 minutes versus a four hour drive or even a three and a half hour flight. Hyperloop estimates that it can transport 5,000 riders per hour in both directions. Long road trips, flights, or train rides are soon to be the things your grandchildren won’t believe when you’re telling them stories about the good old days!