Hyperloop, the proposed fifth mode of transportation, has caught everyone’s attention ever since Elon Musk floated the idea.
While many companies across the globe are trying to make this concept of a mode of transportation in vacuum a reality, the only company that has built and tested a full-scale Hyperloop system is Hyperloop One.
The company threw open the Hyperloop One Global Challenge in May 2016 for individuals, universities, companies and governments to develop comprehensive proposals for deploying Hyperloop One's innovative transportation technology in their region.
It announced the winners of its challenge today and two Indian companies, Hyperloop India and AECOM India made it to the list.
Hyperloop India, a team of students from various BITS colleges proposed a Mumbai-Chennai route that would provide east-west connection across India. The 1102-kilometre stretch will take passengers and goods from Mumbai to Chennai in just 63 minutes and would go via Pune, Kolhapur, Dharwad, Tumakuru, Bengaluru and Vellore.
In fact, Hyperloop India, which counts Hindustan University as one of its sponsors, also participated in the Spacex Hyperloop pod competition held in August, for which it built a demo model of its OrcaPod, which it raced at the SpaceX headquarters in California.
AECOM India proposed the 334-kilometre Bengaluru-Chennai Industrial Corridor that would take passengers and goods in just 23 minutes. This route will go via Kolar, Palamaner, Chittoor and Kanchipuram.
These two teams are among the 10 that won the challenge. The winning routes connect 53 urban centers and nearly 150 million people across Canada, India, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Their combined distance spans 6,628 km (4,121 miles).
The winning teams/routes were chosen based on specific criteria including well-defined routes and implementation strategies, key stakeholder involvement from public and private sectors, compelling business cases, and innovative and creative applications of a Hyperloop system.
"The Hyperloop One Global Challenge started as a call to action for innovators, engineers, trailblazers and dreamers around the world who shared our vision of creating a new mode of transportation. The Global Challenge became a movement of thousands of people from more than 100 countries over six continents. Like us, they believe that Hyperloop will not only solve transportation and urban development challenges within communities, it will unlock vast economic potential and transform how our cities operate and how we live," said Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Hyperloop One.
“The next step for each of these winning teams will be a validation process conducted with Hyperloop One to do some in-depth analysis on each route, establishing things like ridership forecast and building a fully fleshed out business case for each. Hyperloop One will be hosting workshops in each of the above countries to help with this process, and to meet with stakeholders and help establish necessary partnerships,” Hyperloop India said in a statement.
Another 11 finalist teams will continue to develop their proposals with the support of Hyperloop One.
The idea of being able to evade traffic and the dire state of road infrastructure has indeed caught the imagination of many, especially in India.
In fact, another company Hyperloop Technologies Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) signed an MoU with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board just last week to develop a 5-minute commute between the cities of Vijayawada and Amravati.