Hot on the heels of Hyperloop One’s (formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies) successful propulsion open air test in Nevada earlier this month, we have Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) unveiling what they imagine the capsules will look like from the inside at a technology conference in Vienna.
The Hyperloop was first conceived in 2013 by Elon Musk and a collection of engineers from Tesla and SpaceX in 2013. It was a futuristic idea to transport passengers through a ““vacuum tube transportation network” long distances at speeds of over 700mph, making a journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles possible in just 35 minutes. What seemed fanciful at the time is getting closer and closer to reality as various teams look to bring the idea to fruition, with some reports suggesting the first passengers could be traveling by 2018.
The capsules will not have windows, considering the pod is positioned within an airless tube. Sounds a bit depressing, but what kind of a view would you expect (just a great big blur) when moving at such incredible speeds. Instead the window will be a high-tech interactive screen, (which they believe will eventually be able to link to your smartphone), which can display journey information such as a map, or speed being traveled at. You can also change it to a simulated view of what you might expect to see from a far more sedately moving train.
The inside is fairly sparse, everything in a slightly off-white bland color with two seats on one side of the pod and one seat the other side of the very narrow aisle. They image shows a pod that is not exactly spacious. Sardines in a tin seem a more appropriate summary. The seats don’t look too wide either, with obesity becoming an ever more pressing problem, will the average American actually be able to fit in the seat?
Does it matter?
What could be said though, is that people are not taking these pods to enjoy the comfortable experience or watch the scenery go by, it is an innovation designed to get you from A to B at nearly unfathomable quick speeds. So its not plush nor roomy, it’s compact and minimal, the price you must pay for the convenience of turning up hundreds of miles away in lighting fast times. Close your eyes, ignore the lack of space and when you open them you could find yourself in a whole new city.
The pods will be made from a super lightweight carbon fiber call Vibranium that is eight times stronger aluminum and due the lack of weight will drastically reduce the among of energy required to send the capsules on the long distance journeys. The company has announced that they intend to build the pods using two layers of the material, so that even if the outer layer is damaged the inner layer remains strong and can continue its journey. “Safety is one of the most important aspects of our system,” said Dirk Ahlborn the CEO of HTT.
Unlike Hyperloop One, we are yet to see the magnetized jet-propulsion system demonstrated by HTT. That is the whole basic of the original concept, so some commentators have suggested perhaps less time on the ascetics (or lack thereof) and more time on the fundamental technology driving the project would be advised.