Virgin’s Hyperloop has moved closer to being realized after a successful test, but could travelers take to this new way of transportation?
Virgin is hoping to redefine long-distance transportation with its Hyperloop, which is being made possible through advancements in technology. On November 8, Virgin successfully tested a trip that saw a couple of passengers transported across the state of California in under an hour. The Hyperloop project started in June 2014 and there are agreements for a variety of firms to deliver potential roll-outs in the United States, United Kingdom, India, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and more.
November 8’s experiment involved two passengers and two crew members traveling from Los Angeles to San Francisco at 670 mph — three times the speed of a high-speed rail. The California project alone has been projected to cost between $6 and $7.5 billion. The 350-mile journey was finished in 43 minutes, whereas the average plane flight would take 88 minutes, and the average car trip would take six hours. Hyperloops consist of pods that speed in near-vacuums through pipelines to their destinations.
Following years of development and recent success, Virgin is hoping to build tracks across the US, Europe, and the Middle East, and provide a popular alternative to the airplane for non-overseas travel. Production pods are expected to seat up to 28 passengers at a time, with pods also possibly being used for cargo. Despite the fast speeds of Hyperloop, tickets are also expected to be cheaper than flying, thanks to fewer resources being required to run and manage a system. This means returns on investment can look promising for cities and other investors. But should Virgin move forward with these plans and are there reasons for people to be concerned?
What To Expect With Virgin Hyperloop
Despite the potential speed and cost for travelers, people have every right to be skeptical about Hyperloops, with it still being relatively early in their development. As airplanes would still be a popular way to travel, many travelers could remain with their airline of choice due to more and better rewards. As Hyperloop becomes available to the public, airlines are expected to lower costs for flights and grant more perks to customers in order to retain business. Many travelers could also decide to stick with flying due to the comfort and familiarity that comes with traveling by plane and still get the positive experiences that are included. The thought of traveling through a dark tunnel without windows or knowing where one is going could discourage a number of travelers.
On the bright side, Hyperloop could catch on in time due to lower costs, the perception of fewer possible emergencies, and other factors. For avid train riders, the Hyperloop would greatly reduce arrival times, especially in Europe, where it could still take hours to get from one country to another. Dedicating room for tracks also might not be a problem if cities are willing to replace pre-existing train and subway stations. While many uncertainties remain with Hyperloop as a mode of transport, it could yet become the preferred way to travel for many in the future.
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Source: Virgin Hyperloop
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