What used to be a vehicle in dystopian movies will soon be feasible. TransPod is exploring Hyperloop and working on developing a tech-forward high-speed transport line that will let people travel from Toronto to Montreal in 30 minutes.
Initially an idea for a design competition by Elon Musk in 2013, the plan was then explored more after TransPod, a company based in Toronto, was formed. TransPod Founder and CEO Sebastian Gendron envisions an innovation that improves the way we travel “for the next century.”
Hyperloop: An Ultra-High Speed Way of Traveling
The idea of traveling at high speeds in pneumatic tube transportation system made its way into resurgence at 2012 thanks to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and his idea of a “fifth mode of transport.” It got the name Hyperloop because the vehicle is envisioned to travel twice the speed of a plane would go into a loop.
The proposed transportation uses a land-based and high-speed system. It is going to have transport pods which will transmit through vacuum-powered tubes in the shape of pipelines.
Gendron says our generation has been living with the usual transportation for already a long time. Now, it is time to move on and propose something new.
What sets it apart from others? The transportation proposal is “going to work on using renewable energies” and of course, “faster than the current mode of transportation.”
Moreover, most of the technology behind the idea’s fruition already exists. What is left is only “a matter of putting everything together,” creating it, having it approved by agencies “like Transport Canada” and lastly, using it.
Going From Toronto to Montreal Way Faster
TransPod explored the idea of the transport system by connecting Toronto and Montreal through the advanced transport system. The two largest cities in Canada are currently connected by Highway 401 which is considered as North America’s busiest highway.
Driving to and from the two cities usually takes over five and a half hours without stopovers. With the proposed transportation, however, travel time will only take 30 minutes.
That means the speed would go up to 1,000km/h for the 500km distance of Toronto and Montreal.
Gendron says it will be “like on an aircraft.” They will use an electrical engine so that the acceleration during takeoff will not be felt.
Acceleration can also be monitored and regulated. Thus, if you want “to have a roller coaster experience, definitely you can have a hard acceleration.”
The TransPod Inc. founder also promises a “comfortable and not a shaking moment” Toronto-Montreal travel.
So When Will It Be Available?
TransPod will do “research and development” as their transport authority in creating a transportation that is “worth it and feasible.” Meanwhile, they are looking forward to developing the computer-driven vehicle in the “next three to five years.”
That means by 2020, a commercial vehicle will be produced when they will a have “mandate again to develop the technology.” They will later work on getting the approval of regulatory agencies to build their first infrastructure lines “before 2025, at best.”
If everything goes according to plan, that is.
Initially, moving cargo will be the role of the transportation as the two cities have around 10,000 trucks each day that transfers goods. The travel time will be cut down from half a day to an hour which will give economic and environmental benefits in the Toronto-Montreal corridor.
This will also give ample time to test the safety of the vehicle for passenger use. But will Canadians be up for it?
Gendron acknowledges that Canadians can be reluctant to risks that may come with technologies.
“Canadian people don’t want to take any risk,” Gendron says, “but on the other hand, Canadians have been able to develop.”
And with Hyperloop “changing the game of how we live today,” commuting from one place to another can be made in a more convenient, accessible and hassle-free way.
Photo source: Wikimedia Creative Commons