Hyperloop Current Affairs

India’s first Hyperloop to come up in Andhra Pradesh

India’s first Hyperloop project will come up in Andhra Pradesh, connecting its city centres, Vijayawada and Amaravati.

In this regard, Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) has inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) for developing the project.

Key Facts

The first of its kind project in India will use a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model with funding primarily from private investors. In its first phase, HTT will conduct six-month feasibility study, following which it will construct and build HTT’s first Hyperloop in India. The proposed hyperloop will cover 35 km distance between Vijayawada and Amaravati only in five minutes.

Hyperloop Technology

Hyperloop Technology is brainchild idea of technology entrepreneur Elon Musk who dubs it as fifth mode of transportation. It is system of magnetically levitating capsules (pods) that are sent at high speeds through low-pressure tubes. It envisages tube modular transport system that runs free of friction. It uses linear Induction motors in it to control speed of pods. It is still in trial stages in different countries and not been implemented for practical use anywhere in world yet.

Advantages

Hyperloop is two-to-three times faster than fastest high-speed rail and claimed to have speeds even greater than commercial air travel. It has smaller civil engineering footprint, with no direct emissions or noise compared to railways. Hyperloop system’s capital cost per mile is 60% that of high-speed rail, and is less expensive to operate. Furthermore, Hyperloop departures could happen with a low frequency of a pod every 20 seconds which is not possible in railways.

Challenges

It requires heavy investments and therefore effective public and private sector coordination is prerequisite for implementing it. It consumes high-power compared to railways. Technical challenges and accidents may hamper its progress.

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NITI Aayog clears six proposals for high-tech public transport

The NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog has approved 6 transport proposals of the transport ministry exploring options to improve public transport. It includes high-tech mass rapid transportation technologies such as metrino, hyperloop, pod taxis, stadler buses, hybrid buses and freight rail road.

The proposals of the transport ministry were approved with a condition that the transport ministry conducts trial run of all these technologies and puts in place safety measures before starting operations commercially.

Following the go-ahead from NITI Aayog, the transport ministry has formed a six member committee, headed by former top official of Railways, to study safety parameters associated with these technologies and their best global practices.

Background

The ministry of road transport and highways had sought the approval of NITI Aayog to experiment and introduce six latest mass rapid transportation technologies. The new technologies are being explored by the Government as current public transportation is unable to resolve the increasing traffic crisis in the country.

Significance

These new technologies are path breaking and can alter the way of intercity travel in the country. The new technologies are being explored as current public transportation is unable to resolve the increasing traffic crisis in the country. Besides, some of them are more cost effective than the existing ones.

Hyperloop transportation mechanism: It is a pod-like vehicle is propelled through a near-vacuum tube connecting cities at speeds matching that of an aircraft.

Freight rail road: Under it elevated corridors will be built with rail lines where freight trucks can be placed and then they would move on rails at high speed, increasing freight quantity and reducing freight time.

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