Want to travel super fast? Want to travel at an amazing speed of 1200km/h? You can think of this now in India too. Yes, a technology called “Hyperloop” is proposed to apply on 5 routes in India. Hyperloop is the invention of entrepreneur Elon Musk and was announced by him in 2013. This technique proposes to propel pod-like vehicles through a near-vacuum tube at speeds close to 1200 km/h. It is projected as the fastest way to travel between two places. Mind blowing, isn’t it?
If implemented, it will be possible to travel from Delhi to Mumbai in 55 minutes while a car takes roughly 23 hours. And Mumbai to Chennai in 50 minutes also Bengaluru to Chennai in 20 minutes. Already dreaming of traveling in such a less time?
So, now the question arises, why do we need this technology? Mainstream means of transport like road, water, air, and rail tend to be expensive, slow, and harmful to the environment. Road travel is problematic, given carbon emissions and the fluctuating oil prices. Rail travel is relatively energy efficient and offers the most environmentally friendly option, but is too slow and expensive to be massively adopted. Given these problems, the Hyperloop technology aims to make a cost-effective, high-speed transportation system. The Hyperloop tubes will have solar panels installed on the roof, allowing for a clean and self-powering system.
As we know there are cons to everything and so this is not any exception. There are many drawbacks in Hyperloop technology. First, it’s very harmful. Crashing of an individual capsule will cause a cascading failure that would prompt a pressure wave to shoot down the tube at very high speed, destroying all the other capsules. Dr. Phil Mason, a chemist who makes educational science videos for YouTube states that the pressure wave caused by a Hyperloop crash would be larger than the overpressure associated with a nuclear weapon, which can kill people and would certainly wreck the rest of the tube. Additionally, any rupture or crack in the Hyperloop capsule for any reason would expose the passengers to hard vacuum, causing them to die in exactly the same way they would die in deep space. Scared?
Next problem would be that Hyperloop Would Be Incredibly Vulnerable to Terrorism. By merely shooting a few holes in the thin tubing surrounding the Hyperloop’s vacuum air pockets would be created which would trigger the same kind of cascading failure caused by a crash.
The third problem is obviously the enormous cost involved.
But if we see only the problems we can never make India a developed nation. So, I think Hyperloop should be brought to India. After all, Henry Ford said it right, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”