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Why Pune-Mumbai Hyper loop may be scrapped

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    28th Jan, 2020

The proposed Pune-Mumbai Hyper loop project, an ultra-modern transport system that will reduce the travelling time between the two cities to 25 minutes from 2.5-3 hours, may be scrapped by the state government.

Context

The proposed Pune-Mumbai Hyper loop project, an ultra-modern transport system that will reduce the travelling time between the two cities to 25 minutes from 2.5-3 hours, may be scrapped by the state government.

About

About/ what is the Hyper loop technology?

  • In 2012, Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla, Inc and several other firms, unveiled his vision of the new transport system, which he called a ‘Hyper loop’.
  • It is envisioned as a transport system which would never crash and would be immune to weather’s vagaries.
  • It would also be thrice or four times as fast as a bullet train, with an average speed that would be twice of an aircraft.
  • It could be passenger-packed pods which would travel through long tubes at 1,220 km/h, using solar energy.
  • The Hyper loop project could be the right solution for high-traffic city pairs which are about 1,500 km apart.
  • The high speed is achieved as the pods, which carry passengers, move using magnetic levitation.
  • The speed increases further due to the near-vacuum conditions inside the tubes, which reduce resistance to the pod as it travels within the tube.

How was Pune-Mumbai Hyerloop envisaged?

  • Hyperloop connectivity in Maharashtra between central Pune and the Navi Mumbai airport was announced in 2018.
  • The responsibility of the project was given to the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA).

Which other cities are exploring a Hyperloop?

  • Currently, nine companies are working on the technology, and they have announced construction of test tracks as well as intercity transport systems in various parts of the world.
  • Prominent among these companies are US-based Virgin Hyperloop One, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Canada-based TransPod. An Indian company, called the DGWHyperloop India, has also entered the arena.
  • Various companies have announced a number of routes, with the leading projects being the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop, one connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco, one between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, another from Amravati to Vijayawada, a track connecting Missouri’s largest cities including St Louis, Kansas City and Columbia, and several routes in Canada including Toronto-Montreal, Toronto-Windsor and Calgary-Edmonton.
  • The Hyperloop project has not been undertaken anywhere in the world.

Benefits or advantages of Hyperloop Technology

  • The technology offers very fast speed of transportation which is twice that of aircraft.
  • It has very low power consumption.
  • It is low cost transportation system on long run.
  • It is immune to bad weather conditions.
  • It is resistant to earthquakes.
  • It is safe mode of transportation system.
  • Uses Solar Energy for power
  • In the event of equipment or electrical failure, the system comes to a stop (does not fall from the sky).
  • Automation reduces the risk of human error

Challenges or disadvantages of Hyperloop Technology

  • High speed of capsule (almost at speed of sound) may cause dizziness to the passengers travelling due to vibration and jostling.
  • Initial cost of investment to have the system in place is very high. The long vacuum chamber manufacturing requires more technical skills. Moreover this is costly and also risky to maintain.
  • Land use rights will be concern for deployment of the project.
  • It has very high risk to life when something wrong happens to the system.
  • It has limited space in the train and hence people cannot move freely.
  • As hyperloop uses steel for track, it expands and changes shape when outside temperature is changed. This may destroy the track of hyperloop technology. This needs to be considered while designing the system based on environment of the location where it is being deployed.
  • The installation requires cutting of large number of trees. This leads to environment loss.
  • It is an Unproven system yet.
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