In the years since Elon Musk’s first proposed the ‘Hyperloop’, questions have swirled about which will be the first country to introduce this radical new form of transportation. Now, we have more clarification in the matter with talk about India being the first cab off the rank.
The hyperloop race is being led by Virgin Hyperloop One with the backing of Sir Richard Branson. Speaking with Yahoo Finance, company chief executive Jay Walder, revealed work is underway on a project in India.
“One of the big projects that we’ve been working on right now is in India — it’s to build a route from Mumbai to Pune,” he said.” “That’s about a [75-mile] route… the first phase of that project will be [7.5 miles]. … I think there’ll be shovels in the ground by the end of 2020. So it’s really exciting. It’s happening. It’s here now.”
A host of cities and countries around the world have reportedly expressed interest in Hyperloop systems, including Dubai and Saudi Arabia. However, bringing the technology to the market is proving to be a long process.
The most recent full-scale test from Virgin Hyperloop One that has been publicized came in late 2017 and saw a test pod accelerate through to 240 mph (387 km/h), well short of the 671 mph (1080 km/h) top speed being targeted by the technology company.
“Our pod literally floats on a bed of air,” Walder added when describing the Hyperloop. “But, unlike maglev systems that are being used around the world in different places in an open environment, like in closing in an enclosed environment, we create a much faster and a much more environmentally friendly system.”
Elon Musk himself is also working on making the Hyperloop a reality.