India is all set to whoosh through a tube at the speed of flight. And Andhra Pradesh will likely be the first state to do it. Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) has signed an agreement with the AP govt to connect the two cities of Vijayawada and Amaravathi. The 43km drive between the two cities takes a little over an hour. With the hyperloop, it will come down to just six minutes.
Starting October this year, the company will first conduct a six-month feasibility study to find the best possible route between the two cities. Construction begins thereafter, though the launch date isn’t known yet.
What is the hyperloop?
Hyperloop is a radical, yet untested means of travel proposed by maverick entrepreneur Elon Musk. It involves travelling in pods through a sealed pipe at speeds that could touch 1,200km/hr, making it faster than a jet aircraft. These speeds will be possible due to a largely frictionless environment, minus any physical contact or air resistance.
Tests are already underway in several parts of the world. Musk claims he has an approval to build a New York City–Washington DC hyperloop that will cut a five-hour drive to just 29 minutes!
In India, Musk’s HTT isn’t the only startup in the fray. Earlier this year, another company called Hyperloop One identified five routes for its India debut. On its list are:
Bengaluru-to-Chennai: 334km in 20 minutes
Bengaluru-to-Thiruvananthapuram: 736km in 41 minutes
Delhi-to-Mumbai via Jaipur and Indore: 1,317km in 55 minutes
Mumbai-to-Chennai via Bengaluru: 1,102km 50 minutes
Bengaluru to Chennai: 334km in 20 minutes
Operations, however, would only start from 2021. Can Musk and his Andhra Pradesh hyperloop get there faster?