As a company, we are excited about all new technologies, but we feel specially enthusiastic about technologies that can impact the moving industry. And there is yet another one on the horizon, Hyperloop. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Hyperloop is Elon Musk’s crazy idea about a high-speed, 700 mph, ground transportation. His vision is to use it both for travel and commercial purposes. The concept is simple, a capsule that can travel at more than 700 mph inside a low-pressure tube. When finished, Hyperloop will essentially be the fastest commercial transportation on earth.
First, let me give you some background on Hyperloop. A while ago Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX came up with the idea of Hyperloop. In August 2013, he published a very detailed and technical article on SpaceX’s blog explaining his proposal. He open sourced that design encouraging anyone to use it and modify it. Several people responded to his call and different companies were created to the sole purpose of making Hyperloop a reality. Even though neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk is affiliated with any of these Hyperloop companies, as stated in SpaceX’s website, they wanted to boost the development of a functional Hyperloop prototype. With that goal in mind, they launched an open competition to design and build the Hyperloop capsule, or pod, as they call it. As an incentive to the participants, SpaceX agreed to build a 1 mile test track for the winning teams to test their pods, by the way, the big winner was the MIT Hyperloop team.
Fast forward to May 2016, this monumental project shows signs of advancing faster than expected. Two companies are currently competing to build the first Hyperloop, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), and Hyperloop One. Both companies are at the testing face, Hyperloop One already completed a successful test on May 11 2016, and HTTC has announced the construction of their 5 miles test track will take place later this year. Selected Pods from SpaceX’s open competition are expected to be tested this summer at SpaceX’s test track.
This project certainly has many challenges, most of them technology related, but some of them from a different nature like buying the land to build the tracks, funding, transportation industry disruption, and even political obstacles. Overcoming those obstacles will take time, but the fact that countries like Slovakia have already agreed to host the first Hyperloop tracks, probes that this will happen sooner rather than later.
So many questions rise when you look at the Hyperloop through the moving industry eyes. Will it be profitable to use it in household goods moves? Will it affect the truck drivers community? With a travel as smooth as promised, will it have a positive impact on the number of claims filed? Will insurance costs be affected? It is too soon to answer those questions, but in theory getting from point A to point B faster and safer is always a plus in the moving business.
The Hyperloop is a fascinating project top to bottom. From the way Elon Musk open sourced his idea for the greater good, to the way it will impact our society and the way we travel.
Main photo: Hyperloop One