India has one of the largest networks of public transportation, courtesy of Indian Railways, and to take a revolutionary step forward in modernising the public transportation system, the Indian government has shown interest in the high-speed Hyperloop technology.
The Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One is building pods that use magnetic levitation and glides at speeds up to 1,200 km per hour through a near-vacuum tube.
The concept was first floated by Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk. It uses ultra-low aerodynamic drag to its advantage, propelling to speeds unseen in passenger flight or rail systems.
“We have not received any investment or offers of investment from the government or private investors in India yet,” Rob Llyod, CEO of Hyperloop One, told IANS.
In February 2017, Lloyd talked about revolutionising the public transportation system in India in his meeting with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.
Prabhu had expressed his interest in the project and had mentioned that his team will be closely monitoring the development of the Hyperloop tech.
“We have had follow-up meetings with the minister and his staff and also had dialogue with other relevant departments and state governments. We continue to have strong interest in building a robust transportation system in India,” Llyod added.
If the Hyperloop system is implemented in India, it’ll greatly reduce travelling time all over the country. It will be possible to travel from Delhi to Mumbai in under 55 minutes, Delhi to Lucknow in 30 minutes, Mumbai to Chennai in 50 minutes and Bangalore to Chennai in 20 minutes.
“This is the beginning and the dawn of a new era of transportation,” said Shervin Pishevar, Executive Chairman and Co-founder of Hyperloop One.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we worked together to build our test system perhaps in India, and then build an eco-system of small companies and large companies, innovating around the technology, creating new tech jobs while, at the same time, building a new system that would be more efficient and less costly than the high-speed rail,” Llyod noted.
The Hyperloop team visited India in July to follow up with various government agencies who’ll be involved with the proposed project. But something substantial is yet to emerge from these meetings.
According to Lloyd, India should invest in Hyperloop technology instead of putting their money on bullet train technology.
“The advantages that the Hyperloop brings over high-speed train is that it takes a much smaller footprint and is much less expensive to construct and, obviously, it is faster than the bullet train. Instead of having 600-800 people in each train, we can have a small number of vehicles running frequently and it will also lead to less expensive station design,” Llyod told IANS.
The company is currently examining potential travel routes in India and working on uncovering more possibilities.
“I believe there is an opportunity to create an innovation cluster around the development of this technology in India. That is one of the conversations that we are having with the government,” Llyod said.