- Tesla founder Elon Musk came up with the hyperloop concept in 2013.
- There was so much hype when several companies announced years ago that we would now have a hyperloop system on a mass scale.
- A hyperloop, a super-fast transit system, is still a pipe dream, though. It’s not over yet.
- TUM Hyperloop told CNBC that it is still developing the technology.
The tube of the Hyperloop test track with the transport cabin is open for viewing before opening. The new Hyperloop test track at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) includes a 24-meter-long vacuum tube made of concrete and a full-scale passenger vehicle,the first in all of Europe to have received full certification for passenger operation, per TUM.
MUNICH – Hyperloop, the mega-fast transportation system dreamed up by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk in 2013, was now supposed to be a reality.
However, things didn’t quite pan out that way. There was so much hype when several companies announced years ago that we would now have a hyperloop system on a mass scale. That just didn’t happen. Many believe the hyperloop concept will eventually challenge other forms of transportation, including airplanes, by moving people and cargo in tubes at speeds of around 700 miles per hour. The hyperloop dream is not over yet.
“I’ve been working on this for seven years, we wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t believe in it. I think a lot of the hype when it came out was really optimistic, like two years from now, three years from now, I don’t know. But this is, I mean, this is a timeline that you can use if you’re building software, maybe, but not if you’re building infrastructure,” said Gabriele Semino, project leader at TUM Hyperloop, in an interview with CNBC.
“Obviously, for this kind of brand new system, you have to… develop it.
Since its inception, several companies have raced to develop their own versions of the hyperloop. The Technical University of Munich is the organization behind TUM Hyperloop. The technology is currently being developed by the company. At the IAA motor show in Munich this month, TUM demonstrated a Hyperloop module in which passengers sat. The company built a tube about 24 meters long. Although it is a short distance, the TUM Hyperloop is trying to test the functioning of the systems before proceeding with the construction of a long line.
Semino said he expects the technology to be ready by the end of this decade. This would mean short routes with the hyperloop operating at full speed and carrying passengers. By the end of the next decade, hyperloop technology will have longer lines built across continents, Semino said.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) and Elon Musk’s Boring Company are also exploring the technology.
Europe is a pioneer in technology. Hyperloop technology has a chance to solve a lot of problems. It would be an ecological and super-fast mode of transport. It could also reduce the need to fly or drive in places like the US or continental Europe. Semino said this could reduce the burden on traditional train lines, which could then be used to transport freight.
“This is not… wishful thinking. What is needed right now is new and better infrastructure,” Semino said.
He said that while regions such as the Middle East and China would be candidates for the technology, Europe is likely to be among the first regions to receive the technology.
“I think right now, specifically for Hyperloop, the region that’s making the most progress is Europe,” Semino said.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, is currently considering the creation of a framework for hyperloop technology.
“From a government framework perspective, Europe is the one that’s most interesting right now,” Semino said.