Elon Musk’s Hyperloop dreams have come a step closer to fruition – in faraway India.
Hyperloop One, one of the companies that works on the revolutionary mobility technology, has made a detailed pitch to the Indian government about building its infrastructure in India. The company has identified routes where it could run, and is now in talks with the government as to how to bring the technology to the country.
— HyperloopOne (@HyperloopOne) February 28, 2017
“India turns out to be a massive opportunity obviously for the concept of Hyperloop, which is why there’s so much interest,” said its CEO , Rob Lloyd while addressing a press conference. “We want to align the stakeholders to actually find a route that makes sense, to do the detailed engineering, do the work on financing that route, think about a public-private partnership.”
The routes identified by the company are on predictable lines, along high volume zones – the company wants to connect Delhi-Mumbai, with stopovers at Jaipur and Indore, Bangalore-Chennai, Bangalore-Thiruvananthapuram, and Mumbai-Chennai. Its also running a public campaign, where Indian Facebook users can vote for which of the routes should be implemented first.
The company appears to have succeeded in getting the ear of the Indian government. Its executives have already met Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, and NITI Aayog Chairman Amitabh Kant, who was also present at the conference, said that the government will support the initiative in “any way possible.”
Hyperloop One could benefit India in several ways. The technology could drastically cut down transit time in Indian cities – a Hyperloop pod will be able to complete a Bangalore to Chennai journey in a mere 21 minutes. “This will redefine how we think about cities,” said Lloyd. The Hyperloop could enable people to travel 300 kms everyday to get to their workplace, thus helping ease the congestion that have so become the bane of Indian metros. The Hyperloop initiative also fits in neatly with the government’s Make In India scheme – the company has announced that it will manufacture its devices where it’s going to be run. Hyperloop also claims to cost only around 60% of the cost of high-speed rail systems.
While the actual implementation might be some way away, Hyperloop One is already making big strides. It carried out a public test of its capabilities last year, and is slated for another test in Nevada this year. And this public announcement – with the Indian government by its side – should signal that the company is serious about bringing the technology to India.