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Old Posted Jul 27, 2019, 10:52 PM
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Hyperloop: How It Could Join With Electric Planes and Cars in Just 5 Years


- Hyperloop could start to form an interconnected mesh of electric cars and flying machines in just five years’ time, with the famously difficult-to-achieve vacuum-sealed tube whizzing pods across flat landscapes to provide an alternative to the jet engine. Not only would it work, one industry expert claims, but a track could emerge within a decade. Thierry Marin-Martinod, aerospace and defense chief technology officer for Switzerland-based TE Connectivity, tells Inverse that “we should see a project” in “best case, five, less than eight years.” — This hyperloop project, Marin-Martinod explains, will probably emerge where it makes most geographic sense. Building a tube along a flat, empty land is easier than snaking around or through mountains and hills. A plane can cruise at nearly 600 mph, and many of its routes will continue simply because a hyperloop could not traverse those same terrains. The same applies to cars that only need a road, and trains that don’t require any vacuum-sealed tubes.

- Marin-Martinod does not expect full-size electric jets for another 20 years, with smaller single-passenger designs taking to the skies in the next few years. Hyperloop could bridge the gap before that point. Another area where hyperloop could win is on multi-modal transport. Planes require the passenger to queue for hours in security, taking their shoes off and sometimes going through a body scanner. Instead of the hours taken at either end, hyperloop could connect with and enable seamless switching between other modes of transport. It’s akin to how the Channel Tunnel between the United Kingdom and France loads cars onto a giant train, then moves that train through the tunnel. — Audi and Airbus have designed a pod capable of linking to ground, air, and hyperloop forms of transport without the passenger ever leaving the pod. Where could the first track go? The biggest decider could be money. Marin-Martinod suggests China and countries in the Middle East could have the finances to support an initial track.


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