High-speed train company Hyperloop One shuts down

During its first ever passenger ride, the pod travelled at a top speed of 107mph (172km/h) the 546yds (500m) test run
The image shows a Hyperloop train. — Hyperlooptt
The image shows a Hyperloop train. — Hyperlooptt

Hyperloop One, a company famed for executing Elon Musk’s idea —which he proposed in 2013— of shooting people at hundreds of miles per hour in a vacuum, has shut down. 

Besides aiming to significantly reduce and save the time consumed in travelling, the project aimed to introduce an eco-friendly means of transport as well.

Referring to a Bloomberg report, BBC reported that the firm’s remaining staff will be laid off this week. The biggest stakeholder of the Hyperloop one was DP World, a Dubai-based company.

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Promising an era of high speed travelling, the company was going to implement magnetic levitation (maglev) technology — already used in some transport systems — within a vacuum tube.

The idea of the air-sealed tunnel was implemented in view of the excessive speed at which the train would move. This would have dramatically minimised friction and air resistance, allowing the train to travel at speeds of 700mph (1,127km/h).

Although the company had built some prototypes in the Nevada desert, the project was put to inspection as experts expressed doubts over its engineering.

The closure of the project could be attributed to the train requiring the construction of giant tubes across the countryside while encompassing towns because all the tubes had to be in a straight line, which was very unlikely.

The image displays the vacuum/tube made for Hyperloop train. — Hyperlooptt
The image displays the vacuum/tube made for Hyperloop train. — Hyperlooptt

During a test ride, the first passenger ride, wherein two company employees were boarded on the train, the pod travelled at the top speed of 107mph (172km/h) on the 546yds (500m) test run.

Surprisingly, the company announced a big change in strategy in 2022, saying it would focus on transporting cargo instead of people. The announcement was followed by a layoff session, sacking 100 employees alongside further job cuts later in the year.

Since this idea has been dispelled, Musk’s other company The Boring Company is researching similar technology using underground tunnels. Similarly, there are also other companies around the world attempting to bring about this idea.