Govt Official Ask Govt To Allow Virgin Hyperloop Demo In India For Ultra-Fast Transport
NITI Aayog has expressed openness to foreign firms setting up demos of Hyperloop technology in the country, allowing its feasibility to be studied.
What Is Hyperloop?
Hyperloop, specifically Virgin Hyperloop, is a new-age transport technology which runs on ultra high speeds in a sealed tube or system of tubes with low air pressure.
The lack of air resistance or friction allows the traveling pod to attain ultra high speeds.
It is touted to be the next big revolution in mobility, especially an urban mobility solution.
Niti Aayog Member’s Recommendations
NITI Aayog member V K Saraswat made the comments while also adding that a regulatory mechanism should be set up to monitor the technology’s safety.
He is the head of a committee constituted to study the technological and commercial viability of the hyperloop technology.
The committee has chalked out two ways in which the technology can be commercialised and its viability can be studied.
One is by allowing foreign companies to stage demos.
Indigenous R&D Could Slow Down Process
The other is by undertaking serious R&D in this area in parallel.
Saraswat acknowledged that India has its own R&D capabilities and could produce its own designs for the hyperloop but it would be time consuming.
Therefore, bringing in overseas players in states like Maharashtra or Karnataka is the prudent step which should be approved by the government.
Maharashtra, Karnataka Projects
Maharashtra has already deemed hyperloop as a public infrastructure exercise and has approved the Virgin Hyperloop-DP World Consortium as the original project proponent for the Mumbai-Pune hyperloop project.
Another route being tested is the one between Bengaluru airport and the city in Karnataka.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO of DP World, said that the mobility tech could become reality within the end of this decade.
Launch In India Before Other Countries?
His company, which holds a majority stake in Virgin Hyperloop, also said during the Dubai Expo 2022 in October that it could launch in India first before the UAE.
The first-ever human trial run took place on November 9, 2020 when the passengers attained a speed of 107 mph (172 km per hour) in 15 seconds.
For perspective, with such speeds it could potentially cover the distance between Mumbai and Pune, which is around 150 kms, in 30 minutes or even less.