The Hyperloop transport concept has been introduced by the Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk to enable passengers to travel between cities faster than the speed of sound. People and cars will be transported between cities inside aluminum pods travelling at a speed of 800 mph (around 1290 km/h). These pods will travel in elevated tubes. According to Musk’s blog post, Hyperloop could become the fifth mode of mass transport after planes, trains, cars and boats.
The term “Hyperloop” is just a nomenclature and it doesn’t scientifically put travelling in the realms of exotic science. In this specific case, what the concept means is, coming up with a mode of transportation that is extremely fast. The Hyperloop transport concept will be applicable between cities where travelling in a supersonic jet doesn’t make sense but using conventional mode of transportation is quite slow (comparatively) and time-consuming. For example, instead of driving your car you can simply place your car in a pod and that pod will travel inside a tube with minimal or no friction at a speed greater than the speed of sound. There will be near-vacuum inside the tube. The system is inspired by the pneumatic tubes used to transport mail around some buildings. If you don’t want to travel in your car, you can simply travel in the pod as an individual.
A team of students from MIT has won a competition to transform Elon Musk’s Hyperloop transport into a workable design. More than 1000 college students participated in the competition at Texas A&M University in the city of College Station. More than 100 university teams presented design concepts to a panel of judges. The top teams will build their Hyperloop pods for transport and then test them in the world’s first Hyperloop test track that is being built adjacent to SpaceX’s Hawthrone, California headquarters. This will be a 5-mile track to test the feasibility of running a Hyperloop mode of transport. If it works, a track between Los Angeles and San Francisco is supposed to be built using the Hyperloop transport in which people will be able to cover the distance within 30 minutes. Otherwise this journey takes five hours and even more.