Will Passengers Choose To Travel With Hyperloop?

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HyperloopElon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, uncovered Hyperloop, his new design, that will connect Los Angeles to San Francisco and which could be an alternative to current high-speed rail systems. Zintro experts describe the details of the design and discuss whether Hyperloop will become a better mode of transportation.

According to Richard Durrant, an expert in machine design and fabrication, Hyperloop would perform better on a single rail car traffic rather than individual small pods or long assemblies of cars. “The economics best suits small commuter groups who want high speed transport – they will support the higher initial costs. Additionally, the passenger car will have to be able to stop very quickly in case of any trouble in the system. Use of closed circuit cameras supported by AI detection analysis systems to anticipate problems well in advance of the actual occurrence will give more response time and may well save the concept,” he notes. “Early disruptions will not be acceptable to a population already ill at ease with transportation.” Durrant’s recommendation is to create a system housed below ground in order to remove weather conditions from the diagnostics matrix and the visual stimulus from intruders. “The more constant temperatures will reduce stress on the tube envelope and the rail system. The action of moving air from in front of the car and adding air to the rear is good from a propulsion energy point of view. A large scooping fan mounted in front to evacuate the wake pressure, which in turn directs air into four tubes, which have internal high pressure air movers, will be effective in moving air to the rear for discharge where the discharged air will reduce the negative drag pressure,” adds Durrant. “Stopping the fans will provide significant braking to the car. I don’t believe that earth tremors will actually be a problem, given current design options available to handle the resulting forces.”

Design engineer, Genesis E. S. argues that the new technology was not well designed and will not work at this stage. “First, the proposed speed of the pod is approximately 800 MPH, thus any air in front of it will need to be squeezed down or compressed to get it to the rear of the pod. That means a vent or pipe will need to go from the front of the pod to the rear. Assuming a simplistic calculation of one fourth the volume of the tube, the air will need to be compressed to four times the pressure in the tube to fit through the pipe and travel at least at the same rate or travel through the pipe at four times the velocity of the pod to maintain the same pressure,” he explains. “The amount of energy required to compress this much air is essentially a jet engine pulling the air from the front of the pod and pushing it out the back. So imagine an engine off, of a 787 or similar mounted in the pod with an intake and exhaust running through the pod and then pack a bunch of people around it. Between the noise and the heat, I think it would be safe to say ridership could be hindered by the lack of comfort and high potential for death.”

By Idil Kan

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