Hyperloop technologies were never a new concept as some of us might think the case is but it is derived from the years-old concept of Vactrain. Many of us were introduced to the term Hyperloop only in recent years mostly because tech giants like Tesla, SpaceX, Virgin Hyperloop, etc. started talking about it.
The concept to build a more advanced train that would travel in low pressured tubes using vacuum and maglev system is based on various studies some of which are even three centuries old. One of the very first founding fathers of this concept was George Medhurst. He was a British inventor and philanthropist who pioneered the use of compressed air as means of propulsion. A patent was filed by him for a technology that could transport goods through a system of iron pipes in 1799. Since then many experiments were conducted in which vacuums were created in between rails and the train, causing it to be pushed by atmospheric pressure.
So What Is Modern Hyperloop System?
So according to Wikipedia, Hyperloop is a sealed tube or system of tubes with low air pressure through which pods could move at an extremely high speed as the air resistance, friction would have a very small impact on it. The modern hyperloop was first publicly introduced by Elon Musk in 2012. His initial concept included reduced-pressure cells in which pressurized containers travel on air bearings driven by linear induction motors and axial compressors. The technology is constantly improving with passing time so it is quite difficult to finitely define it.
Companies In the Process Of Development
As hyperloop is described as an open-source vactrain design released by a joint team from Tesla and SpaceX, several companies and startups have entered into the market trying to develop prototypes of their own. The most prominent of them include :
- Virgin Hyperloop
- Hyperloop Transportation Technologies
- Hardt Global Mobility
- Nevomo (previously Hyper Poland)
Timeline And Latest News Till Now
Founded after winning the Best Hyperloop Proposal Prize and Best Hyperloop Propulsion Prize at the SpaceX-sponsored 2015 Hyperloop Pod Competition, Valencia-based Zeleros Hyperloop began working to make its prototype a reality in 2016.
In June 2020, the company managed to secure €7m, completing the financing stage. “The next steps will require building a complete vehicle, to integrate all the technologies we have already validated at the laboratory scale, and our test track to run it in operational conditions,” added Pistoni.
Virgin Hyperloop successfully completed the first-ever human trial in the hyperloop pod at the DevLoop test facility in the US, where the company has previously run over 400 unoccupied tests.
Two passengers, both company staff, traveled 500 meters in 15 seconds, reaching 107 mph (172 km per hour), marking the completion of the first-ever trial, the company said.