Elon Musk’s brainchild, the Hyperloop, is popularly deemed the ‘fifth’ mode of transport (the four being: land, sea, air and space in chronological order of invention). He proposes the transport of passengers and cargo via Hyperloop pods travelling through sealed tubes. Adhering to his vision of a better world, Musk earlier made the alpha-level designs public, with help from engineers at Tesla and SpaceX. Although it promises to be an environment-friendly and speedier mode of commute, the idea presents a huge engineering challenge. And for a more global contribution, in 2013, Musk announced the Hyperloop pod competition to be open to all. The competition would be conducted in three phases – the first based on design and the other two on track runs. SpaceX also built a 1-mile-long test track in California for prototype testing of the pods.
Hyperloop India (formerly known as BITS Hyperloop) has been India’s answer to the world, constantly working towards this goal. They have already had their design – The Orca Pod, which claims to reach speeds up to 460 km/hr – approved in late 2016 and were selected among the 35 teams that would get to test their pod on the track. Founded by BITS Pilani in 2015, the team started out with 60 members. The number soon grew to 150 members with active participation from all the BITS campuses as well as some of the best B-Schools like the IIMs and Symbiosis University for promotion.
Apart from the competition, Hyperloop India is also participating in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge where they need to put forward a comprehensive plan for cities or countries that should be considered to host the initial Hyperloop network. Everything from economic to government policies needs to be taken into consideration to achieve this. They are already working with TRA, a law firm, in order to get help with their efforts in this direction, and being supported by RITES – The Railway India Technical and Economic Service – hoping that Hyperloop could also be the solution to the Mission 350+ initiative by the Indian Rail Ministry while meeting the requirements of the challenge.
All in all, the team deserve tremendous appreciation for their work. Find out more about them and lend them your support through www.hyperloopindia.in