Foster launches Hyperloop cargo vision

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Nicola Byrne

UK architect firm, Foster & Partners, has created a video to show its DP World Cargospeed plan for a high-speed freight transportation network using Hyperloop technology.

The firm designed the concept in collaboration with cargo giant DP World and Virgin Hyperloop One, a company founded in 2014 after the Hyperloop concept was introduced by Elon Musk the year before. Richard Branson is chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, whose goal is to deliver a fully operational Hyperloop system by 2021.

Norman Foster said: “It is important we develop an integrated sustainable vision of infrastructure that will enable us to evolve and adapt our existing cities, and design new ones that will be in harmony with nature and our precious planet.”

Foster Hyperloop

The organisations believe that “throughout history, cargo has always been the catalyst for transport revolutions” and Hyperloop “will deliver exceptional service for high-priority, on-demand goods at the cost of trucking and the speed of flight”.

The video also shows freight being loaded onto autonomous electric vehicles and dispatched by drones.

What is Hyperloop?

Hyperloop is a form of transport currently in development by multiple companies which could see passengers travelling at around 750mph through low pressure tube in pods that levitate by using air bearings  – Elon Musk has likened it to a “cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table.”

It supports sustainable operations by being powered by renewable energy – it’s safe and clean with no direct carbon emissions.

Who else is doing it and where?

After the idea was introduced by Elon Musk and SpaceX in 2013, others have been encouraged to take the Hyperloop concept and further develop it. Here’s a few of them:

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies | A US-based company founded in 2013. They announced last month that construction has begun in France for their first test track which is expected to be complete in 2019. They have also submitted a proposal which envisages a 700 – 800km hyperloop transportation system connecting Anantapur-Amaravati-Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam in India.

TransPod | A Canadian company founded in 2015. They’re developing a system to carry vehicles at speeds greater than 1000km/h (621mph). The TransPod system uses moving electromagnetic fields to propel vehicles with levitation, rather than compressed air originally suggested by Musk. Planning to build a prototype in France by next year.

DGWHyperloop | Founded in 2015, it is currently the only Indian company working on the Hyperloop system. Proposals involve building a network between Delhi and Mumbai with a 60 minute travel time.

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