A hyperloop is a proposed high-speed transportation system for both public and goods transport. The idea was picked up by Elon Musk to describe a modern project based on the vactrain concept (first appearance in 1799). Hyperloop systems have three essential elements: tubes, pods, and terminals. The tube is a large, sealed low-pressure system (usually a long tunnel). The pod is a coach pressurized at atmospheric pressure that runs substantially free of air resistance or friction inside this tube using magnetic propulsion (in some cases augmented by a ducted fan). The terminal handles pod arrivals and departures. The Hyperloop, in the initial form proposed by Musk, differs from vactrains by relying on residual air pressure inside the tube to provide lift by aerofoils and propulsion by fans.
From late 2012 until August 2013, a group of engineers from both Tesla and SpaceX worked on the modeling of Musk's Hyperloop. An early system conceptual model was published in the Tesla and SpaceX blogs which describes one potential design, function, pathway, and cost of a hyperloop system. According to the alpha design, pods would accelerate to cruising speeds gradually using linear electric motors and glide above their track on air bearings through tubes above ground on columns or below ground in tunnels to avoid the dangers of grade crossings. An ideal hyperloop system will be more energy-efficient, quiet, and autonomous than existing modes of mass transit. Musk has also invited feedback to "see if the people can find ways to improve it". The Hyperloop Alpha was released as an open source design. The trademark "HYPERLOOP", applicable to "high-speed transportation of goods in tubes" was issued to SpaceX on 4 April 2017.
In 2018, the new concept of creating and using intermodal hyperloop capsules was presented. After detaching the drive elements, capsules could be used in a way similar to traditional containers for fast transport of goods or individuals. It has been proposed that specialized airplanes, dedicated high-speed trains, road tractors or watercrafts perform "last mile" transport for solving the problem of fast transportation to centers where hyperloop terminals are locally unavailable or infeasible to be constructed.
When transportation magnate Elon Musk open-sourced his hyperloop concept to the global floor, it seemed to some like a futuristic pipe dream. Literally, since the designs posit a super high-speed mode of transport where pods hurtle through low-pressure pipes faster than aeroplanes. Still, companies sprang up to accept his challenge, advance the technology, and win the race to a faster future. A company called Hyperloop One became a front-runner, securing USD 160m of funding in less than two years to turn the innovation into a reality. 2b1af7f3a8