Disrupting the Transportation Industry
In today’s fast-paced, high-tech world, people are always looking for faster, more efficient ways to get from point A to point B. As technologies that were once limited to science fiction become part of our reality, the transportation industry continues to innovate. Tech entrepreneurs are ready to disrupt the transportation sector with a cutting-edge new mode of transportation—the first major update in over 100 years.
Virgin Hyperloop One is a company that is planning to significantly reduce travel times and change the way we go places. What began as a brainstorming session between venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar and entrepreneur Elon Musk has turned into a company that wants to “eliminate the barriers of distance and time.”
What Is the Hyperloop?
At first glance, the Hyperloop looks like a futuristic bullet train. Its goal is to move people and freight as fast as possible, and its sleek, revolutionary design is based on aerodynamics.
It is anticipated that this revolutionary transportation system will allow people to travel from Washington D.C. to New York in as little as a half an hour, compared to a traditional train that takes approximately three hours. The company is studying potential routes around the world, but no route has begun development. Based on discussions with international governments and other involved organizations, Virgin Hyperloop One estimates that the first Hyperloop will be operational in the mid-2020s, with Dubai likely being the first recipient of the high-tech system.
The board of directors currently includes Justin Fishner-Wolfson, Rob Lloyd, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Josh Giegel, Yuvraj Narayan, Bill Shor, Anatoly Braverman, and Emily White. As of December 2017, the company had raised $295 million in funding while demonstrating proof of concept.
How It Works
The Hyperloop’s acceleration system uses electric propulsion to thrust the vehicle through a low-pressure tube. The tube system will be built underground or set upon columns. Although it will contain a track, the system relies on magnetic levitation to keep the vehicle gliding silently above the track and traveling at high speeds for long distances. With the reduced drag, it will travel at speeds of up to 670 miles per hour. Despite the high speed, the Hyperloop will accelerate and decelerate gradually, and the ride is expected to feel about the same as flying in a plane, except without the possibility of turbulence.
One of the Hyperloop’s advantages is its energy efficiency. The system only requires energy to power a portion of the track, and it has the capacity to use a variety of power sources. It can make use of whatever is available on the route, including alternative sources such as solar and wind, making it possible to have a 100% carbon-free system.
A critical part of the concept is to reduce its safety risks, particularly those that are inherent in our current rail systems. The Hyperloop will eliminate at-grade crossings and interactions with wildlife and other vehicles. There will be redundant braking systems and on-board life support systems to improve safety.
What’s Next for the Hyperloop?
With the escalating publicity that Virgin Hyperloop One has received in recent years, there is an enormous amount of interest in the project. The company recently announced plans to build a $500 million research center in the small Spanish village of Bobadilla, where they will continue to work on safety improvements and the reliability of the system.
The board of directors is committed to delivering a fully operationally system by 2021. However, there are numerous safety and approval hurdles to overcome if the Hyperloop is to become a reality in three years. Despite these challenges, the company continues to move forward with their plans, which will most likely be first implemented in Dubai.
About Ohio Valley Manufacturing
Alike to the team that is working hard to bring the Hyperloop to life, Ohio Valley Manufacturing has a group of talented industry experts who support the growth of the transportation industry. As one of the top Tier 2 suppliers in the U.S., we have achieved tremendous growth producing stampings and other components for the automotive and trucking industries for over 40 years.
Ohio Valley Manufacturing is excited about the future of transportation and will continue to track the Hyperloop’s developments as the system evolves.