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Is Hyperloop Just A Case of Hyperbole or Will It Disrupt The Transport Industry

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Can Hyperloop Disrupt The Transport Industry

Hyperloop has gathered vast amounts of media attention in the past few years and is said to be the next big thing in transportation industry set to disrupt the trillion dollar industry. However, the hype around Hyperloop has failed to produce anything concrete till date, unlike Electric Vehicles which are being produced in hundreds of thousands and have solid investment commitments by some of the top automobile companies (think Volkswagen which plans to go completely electric by 2020). Hyperloop had been made famous by Elon Musk who has also made icons of Tesla and SpaceX. Hyperloop is said to be the fifth mode of transportation. The system consists of a capsule for passengers or cargo levitating inside a low air pressure tube, with a passive levitation system.

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Image Credit: Telegraph

There are a couple of startups in this space who are building pilots but no major investment has been made and no commercial pilot has been done to prove the concept. Even who is leading the Hyperloop movement is a question, as the trademark rests with Elon Musk’s Spacex with the other companies in this space not having a commercial affiliation with Musk.

Hyperloop is trying to sign up with multiple governments to fund the first large scale commercial project but it has failed to win a single shovel ready project till date. There is a lot of hype around how Hyperloop will be able to transport people through futuristic technologies such as magnetic levitation at a fraction of the current transport cost with much lower energy usage and carbon emissions. However, critics think that this is a lot of hype without substance.

Getting the right of way and land for the project which will be built of hundreds of kilometers won’t be easy especially in densely populated countries like India, where Hyperloop thinks it will have a competitive advantage. Also spending massive amounts of capital in developing a totally new infrastructure of technology that has not been proven seems a bit of a risk to me, given that the government can already spend the money on already proven infrastructure modes such as Railways and Roads which require massive amounts of investment in developing countries.

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A new technology takes time to mature and it takes, even more, time for that technology to reduce costs with scale effect and the learning curve. Getting developing countries into the loop might not be the best way for the Hyperloop technology to prove itself.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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