Virgin Hyperloop undertook the first passenger ride in their system at testing facility in the US on Monday, bringing it closer to reality as a mass transport system. In an interview to TOI, Jay Walder, CEO of the company talks about the results of the test run and its implication for its projects in India. Excerpts:
How was the test run?
We put real people, our own team, our co-founder, went into the Hyperloop pod today. We showed people that it is safe. This really is a major step forward, a major breakthrough, an ability for us to show what’s here and we’re showing that it’s something that people have been waiting for.
Could you give us a sense of the event?
The test run used our DevLoop test facility, outside of Las Vegas. It’s a tube that is 500 metres, and we ran in that tube. We achieved a top speed of 48 metres per second. We rode for 6.4 seconds, and the total distance travel was 395 metres. We were at the top speed for about 6.4 seconds, the total runtime was about 15 seconds. The passengers were in the Hyperloop the entire time and the total distance travelled was about 400 meters on this. We have one of our engineers, who will be in the second group of passengers riding in the pod tomorrow and he is from Pune. And I think we’re answering the question about when you see someone from India riding in a Hyperloop. Tomorrow.
What’s the progress on your India project?
We’re very much more than on track. We’re now moving forward on the basis that we expect to have Hyperloop projects completed before end of the decade. We believe India is a tremendous market for Hyperloop. Hyperloop gives us transportation at the speed of an airplane, up to about 1,000 kilometers an hour, it gives us high capacity and the Mumbai-Pune project that we have looked at, we look at carrying up to 150 million people a year. It gives us the ability to have people and cargo operating simultaneously.
It allows us to do all of this without polluting the air we breathe, it’s cleaner and greener. We’ll take out about 150,000 ton of carbon out of the air in the project from Mumbai to Pune. We had the impact of Covid. Projects are slower. We’ve been able to kick off some terrific work in Bangalore with the Bangalore International Airport. India has great promise, and it has the opportunity for private investment to be a big part of this. I’ve seen the Prime Minister, speaking recently about private investment in infrastructure in India. This is exactly the kind of example that fits with that.
Have more states approached you for such projects?
We’ve also been in discussions with some other states about how to be able to do things. But they’re not — they haven’t moved forward to the point that I’d like to talk about them publicly yet. There are discussions taking place in a number of places across the country.
Could you elaborate on the Mumbai-Pune project?
The project has made a lot of progress. It’s gone through an awful lot of work to be able to evaluate the route to look at the opportunities to understand what it would mean to be able to do that to take what is today, a four-hour trip between Mumbai and Pune and turn it into a trip that would be 26 minutes.
What would be the pricing?
We see this as a mass transportation system and it has to be affordable for the masses to be able to have demand. We see the fares as comparable to the cost of a train ticket, probably and being able to do it. But it is a little early to put precision around that but there’s absolutely no question that it has to be an affordable system for people to be able to use and people to be able to use regularly.
Source From : Times Of India