Today, the Hyperloop transport system belonging to Virgin continues to be a news, with which the company intends to revolutionize the means of transport in the future ever closer to us.
The company showed new images and a concept video about the experience passengers will have during the trips, how they will be able to interact during the trip, what the vacuum capsules are, as well as the stations that serve as the connection. points.
What will a Hyperloop look like at 1200 km / h?
According to the company, traveling on Hyperloop will be like doing it on demand and directly to destination, since the Hyperloop system could carry thousands of passengers per hour, even if each vehicle carries only 28 passengers.
This high performance would be achieved through the use of multiple convoys, where vehicles can travel one behind the other inside the tube, separated by a few milliseconds, controlled by the Software artificial intelligence Hyperloop virgin.
What has now been made public by Virgin is the experience the passenger will have during their journey, inside the capsules, and it looks like this will have nothing to do with what has been seen so far. now people seated and strapped to seat belts. Security.
The video made public, lasting almost three minutes, shows us feelings very similar to those we currently have on a high speed train, with individual or shared seats, in which we can talk with others. people.
We are not talking about common spaces, since these capsules will have an estimated capacity of only 28 passengers, with a transport system based on the projection one after the other, levitating through the connecting tunnels at speeds of up to at 1200 km / h.
When it comes to the visual experience, it’s clear that despite traveling through some sort of time tunnel with vacuum capsules, Virgin wants you to forget about that possible claustrophobic feeling it can cause you.
To do this, it offers a very bright environment everywhere, with comfortable seats, a central aisle, and a sky blue ceiling whose tone may vary depending on the weather conditions outside or whether it is day or night.
All of the module’s lighting, including information screens, is dynamic and adjusts according to passenger activity and travel topics. For their part, the Hyperloop stations are planned as large interconnection zones where the transport fleets will be located.
When can we travel in Hyperloop?
So far, the company has a system for testing the technology in the Nevada desert, with a test track called DevLoop half a mile away on which speed and levitation tests are performed.
At the end of last year Josh Giegel, co-founder and CTO of Virgin Hypeloop, and Sara Luchian, director of Passenger Experience, became the first to travel in a Hyperloop inside the so-called XP capsule. -2.
The test consisted of showing how the technology evolves, by transporting the capsule inside the tunnel at a speed of 172 km / h, with which the distance was covered in just 15 seconds.
The execution time forecasts to bring the Virgin project to fruition go through two key dates. In the short term, achieve safety regulation and certification for Hyperloop systems by 2025.
Later, the first commercial operations would arrive. We say the former because the technology requires a significant deployment of infrastructure, which makes us think that large cities with high passenger traffic would be the first to adopt it.
The good thing about this is that according to the company’s estimates, by 2030 we could be talking about Hyperloop as an alternative transportation system to current high-speed systems, even if only in places strategic.
Regarding the prices that the company manages for its use, spokespersons have already expressed on more than one occasion that it does not intend to be in the price range that plane tickets circulate, but that it rather intends to be an alternative to cars or similar.
However, with a decade to come, those estimates could change overnight, and what Virgin is showing today in the form of animations and mockups, could not see the light of day if agreements with countries and governments do not support not their fruits.
Although Hyperloop was announced in 2012 by Elon Musk, we see how a decade later nothing has been advanced in infrastructure, beyond a test track the company has in the middle of the desert. .
Other real alternatives to Hyperloop
Currently, the fastest bullet train in the world is the Shanghai Maglev, which should cover a daily journey of 30 kilometers to the airport, a distance traveled at a speed of 430 km / h.
China is also working in a magnetic levitation train high speed with which it performs tests, and with which it has managed to reach speeds of up to 600 km / h. Its main advantage is to take advantage of certain current monorail infrastructures.
Virgin’s new transportation system must be sustainable and price competitive to become a reality. A priori, the deployment and maintenance of these tunnels are less expensive than the infrastructure required for other means of transport, but everything remains to be done.