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India Just Might Be Getting a Hyperloop ( 149

California may have produced the horrorshow traffic that prompted Elon Musk to pitch the hyperloop, but it's hardly the only place eager to ditch cars for levitating pods hurtling through tubes at speeds approaching the sound barrier. India wants in, too. From a report: Today, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, one of the companies formed to realize Musk's vision of tube travel, announced it has signed a deal with the state of Andhra Pradesh, in southeast India. Working with the state's economic development board, HTT will spend six months studying possible routes for a hyperloop connecting the cities of Vijaywada and Amaravati -- a move that would transform a 27-mile, hour-long drive into a six-minute whoosh. And then, over an undisclosed period of time, the Los Angeles-based company says it will build the thing. The India deal is just the latest for HTT, which also plans to build networks of tubes in South Korea, Slovakia, and Abu Dhabi. But to make all -- or any -- of that happen, the company's 800 engineers (most of whom have day jobs and work on this in their spare time, in exchange for stock options) must first master the practical aspects of the hyperloop. That means building and maintaining a near-vacuum state across miles of tubes, propelling levitating pods through them, getting people or cargo into and out of those pods, and much more.
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India Just Might Be Getting a Hyperloop

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2017 @02:01PM (#55148785)
    Test-drive where life is cheap?

    And/or where you can sweep the peasants out of the way of progress.
    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      but only after you exploit them for cheap labor to build this pyramid.

      • The pyramids weren't built with cheap labour. The labour was paid the going rate in beer and bread and mostly worked on the Pyramid while their farm lands were flooded by the "Inundation" of the Nile.
        • by zlives ( 2009072 )

          you clearly did not watch the historical documentaries from that time :)

          • No, I studied the archaeology. If I've got that, why would I get a TV to watch crap documentaries written to sell advertising time in a hyper-religious country?
    • Have you ever been to India? And in particular have you ever been to Andra Pradesh? Or are you just stereotyping a nation?

      I can tell you first hand that Andra Pradesh is a very different place from Deli, Mumbai, or Bangaluru (Bangalore). AP has a lot of very rural areas and getting from point A to point B is difficult because the roads are horrible (often dirt) and they have major issues when it rains (monsoon season) when the roads become mud.

      India also is a country that is trying to modernize and create n

      • are the designated shitting streets a real thing, and if so; which cities are they found in? (hopefully away from those first class shopping areas?)

      • Have you ever been to India?... Or are you just stereotyping a nation? ... I can tell you first hand that Andra Pradesh ... has a lot of very rural areas and getting from point A to point B is difficult because the roads are horrible (often dirt) and they have major issues when it rains ....

        Sounds like he got it bang on then.

      • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

        seems like spending time, effort, and money into roads and drainage might be more realistic and useful

      • Those people in rural India desperately need and can afford a Hyperloop to get from A to B.

      • by kcelery ( 410487 )

        A hyperloop is effectively a MagLev + vacuum tunnel.
        While in most countries, MagLev were proposed but not many were built. The
        main problem is not technology, it is the cost being prohibitive.

        Now adding the vacuum tunnel part will make it more efficient and expensive.
        So, is it gonna work? Ask the accountant.

        The Chinese High Speed rail had done a lot of weight-lifting in moving people around,
        but their system is still heavily in Red. They have a crazy govt who wants to achieve a
        high GDP. So in the end, so

    • Or, test-drive where you don't have to wonder how to implement rail car toilets.
  • A fun ride (Score:4, Funny)

    by OYAHHH ( 322809 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2017 @02:06PM (#55148827) Homepage

    But exactly how do you manage to hang on to the roof of a hyperpod at 1,000 MPH?

  • The designers of this system don't take into account the time it takes to park your car, walk to the station, wait in line to get on the next pod, get off at the destination station, and use some other means of transportation to get to the location your want to be. If all that takes more than 54 minutes then you really aren't saving any time.

    • And that's why no-one uses trains, right? And why no train station has a car park?

      • by Topwiz ( 1470979 )

        But with a regular train, the users are taking these delays into account. They need to make the same calculation for the hyperloop.

      • And that's why no-one uses trains, right? And why no train station has a car park?

        Or a bus route that goes to and from the train station.

      • Actually most people who are using a train are not coming with a car and are not leaving with a car.

        Your parent simply has no idea how public transport works in civilized countries.

        • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

          I don't know about other countries, but in the UK station car parks are full with people parking in residential side streets too. Commuting by car then train is extremely common, mainly because of horrendous in-city traffic jams, lack of city parking spaces and if you do find a space it'll cost you more per day than travelling in by train anyway.

          • I think what he means is that people don't load their car onto a goods van and take it with them, nor do they have two cars - one at each end.

            Though to be honest he's a complete fucking loon so who knows.

            • No, I mean: most people don't use a car.
              They use public transport (to get to the train station).

              And if one would park in the neighbourhood, like your parent suggested, his car would be gone when he comes back from the trip.

              Your loony comment escapes me ... if I was lunatic, the voices in my mind would tell me, don't you think so?

    • by Nutria ( 679911 )

      And people need to get into the city at the destination, not just end the hyperloop (what's the loop part?) at the outskirts of the city.

      • The hyperloop will have several, probably plenty, of exits in the _center_ of the city, and not in the outskirts.

        It is not a plane, it is a train!

        • by Nutria ( 679911 )

          How are current HSTs scheduled? (I'm betting it's not like how the hyperloop proponents promise how things will be.)

          • Depends if they are national or trans national.
            They have a long distance schedule, e.g. Stuttgart to Hamburg. Stuttgart to Berlin. Munich to Berlin.
            On the overlapping parts the trains have something like an ever 20mins schedule.
            To concrete destinations, e.g. Hamburg it is every two hours, and alternating the other hours to Berlin. That means from Stuttgart till Mannheim those trains go hourly. Plus all the trains that come from Stuttgart via Mannheim but go elsewhere.

            A hyperloop would work different. Not su

    • Wait times are unlikely to be especially long - that's one of the appeals of hyperloop over trains - small independent cars means you can send them as often as the traffic demands, and you only have to wait for 10-20 people to accumulate to fill a car.

      As for endpoint transportation - India could actually be good for that. Scooters are quite popular as a primary means of transportation, and are small and light enough to take with you if the car were designed for it.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        look, the 27 miles takes 1 hour due to traffic.

        the obvious solution would be A NORMAL HIGH SPEED TRAIN as it is only 27 miles.

        or a highway.

        either way, both of them would be cheaper.. but musk is pitching it as cheaper than the train.

        • There's a reason musk is pitching it as cheaper than a train - if it can work as he envisions, it will be. Substantially. Trains need incredible foundation work the entire length of the track to support the huge concentrated loads - just a low speed siding typically costs about 2 million dollars per mile to build. High speed rail is far more expensive, even in China it averages about 30 million per mile.

  • They can force the lower castes to ride it until they get the kinks worked out.
  • Commutes in and through Indian cities are as I understand presently.. painful would I think be an accurate summary. That and a developing country will not have the miles of red tape and bureaucracy that has developed over the centuries in the US.
    • by TheSync ( 5291 )

      a developing country will not have the miles of red tape and bureaucracy that has developed over the centuries in the US

      Poor countries are poor because they have MORE red tape and bureaucracy than rich countries.

      India is rated 130th in Ease of Doing Business Index [], and 185th specifically in dealing with construction permits.

      The United States ranks 8th in doing business overall and 39th for dealing with construction permits, for example.

    • Underground metro systems are a tried and tested solution that have worked well since the 19th century. Using a vacuum tube and maglev instead of steel wheels on rails doesn't bring much to the table other than a high top speed, which for a metro is pretty useless anyway unless you don't plan on having intermediate stops. The ONLY thing the hyperloop brings is a windfall for construction companies and ditto for Musk if he holds the patents.

  • Any city or government that's serious about it can make it happen. It's about money and will power, not having some "boy wonder" design it for you.

    • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

      Power? India can't even keep the power on 24/7. I don't see how they'll be able to run a hyperloop.

  • by AlanObject ( 3603453 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2017 @03:39PM (#55149385)

    I haven't been to India for decades and there is a reason for that. The place horrifies me. Even the "nice" parts.

    I am all in favor of any effort to make the country sane and habitable but I just don't see making something like the Hyperloop will help any but the top 1%

    Go on youtube and look for videos to see what train rides in India are like for commuters. What trains they do have are reasonably serviceable but are way overtaxed. You have swarms of tens of thousands of people crammed onto platforms designed to max out at maybe a thousand all trying to cram themselves onto trains that are over capacity by at least 2x. And a mob waiting outside the station.

    The stench of sweaty bodies must be epic. I'm happy to say I haven't experienced it myself.

    The Hyperloop even if the most optimistic projection helps this how? By squirting a pod of 30 people (crammed with 100 no doubt) even 10-15 minutes? Don't make me laugh.

    Instead they should upgrade and add to their existing rail infrastructure. The local population is obviously willing to use it. I would bet money that 99.9% of them would prefer a 30-minute clean ride on an available comfortable seat with air conditioning as opposed to a 6-minute woosh in an over capacity system that probably would not be available to them anyway at any reasonable cost.

    Show me the numbers that say HyperLoop could solve the problem they really have there rather than the Gee-Whiz space technology fantasy some geek has and I will be in favor of it. I haven't seen those numbers and I doubt they exist.

    Disclosure: I am an Elon Musk fanboi.

    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )
      sounds like the USA... I see hyperloop same as SST aircraft. Fast and impressive but not scalable to be useful for large numbers of people.
    • by jma05 ( 897351 ) on Wednesday September 06, 2017 @07:43PM (#55150661)

      Who the heck modded the parent up?

      > Go on youtube and look for videos to see what train rides in India are like for commuters.

      Which states are they from? And what is the state in question?

      Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are states that send a good chunk of the engineers to US. Most of videos of chaos you see are from middle and North of India. The southern states produce engineers, launch record breaking space missions etc. The state of Andhra Pradesh (the one in the article) has an airport that is more modern and more stylish than any US airport. Trump wasn't kidding.

      India is better viewed as an EU of sorts, except by developing country standards, rather than a single country. There are a variety of states, with their own languages, cultures and politics, but with a common monetary system and a higher governance structure. They are all at different stages of development.

      Most Americans have no clue about India. They cannot name any states or languages. They see it as an amorphous country, only barely thinking of it when some spectacle that is hardly representative of the country is highlighted in news. Same with China, Iran etc.

      For a country the size of India, you can find instances of just about any kind of chaos and just about any kind of hope. When the sample size is massive, don't make a case out of anecdotes and worse, conjectures. Rather ask, what percent of trains travel like the way you describe. Rather few, I would say. Of course, only the spectacles make the news and views. But that isn't a balanced view of the country.

      I have traveled in India. I have traveled in buses where I could place just one foot inside and I have traveled in luxury buses that would match US offerings. I have traveled in trains like you imagine and in comfortable air-conditioned coaches with meal services. Hyperloop, if it comes to fruition, would be a luxury offering and would be run well enough. My doubts are different. Plans are prematurely advertised in India. I would not pay too much stock in any early announcement.

      The state of Andhra Pradesh recently split and will be needing a new capital in a few years. The government's vision is to build a capital on modern principles, from ground up. Nearly all Indian cities organically grew over centuries making it hard to inject modern infrastructure. This is seen as a unique opportunity. The state has partnered with Japan to build the city out of nothing.

      I'd say you don't understand India much at all. Also, you admit you have not been in India in decades. Do you have any idea how much India and China have advanced in the last few decades? You would not recognize the cities much today.

  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <> on Wednesday September 06, 2017 @03:59PM (#55149489) Homepage Journal
    If a Hyperloop ever gets built it will definitely be one of the most expensive forms of transportation available, at least if they're doing anything even remotely similar to Musk's original cocktail napkin. It seems like they might struggle on the uptake in a country with such a low median income. On the other hand, they don't have the Dubai problem where everybody already drives cars and everything is paved. There is a potential market in India, just as long as it connects some presidental suburb with the government buildings where they work so they can ignore the systemic transportation problems in the city.
    • You are right that in the beginning it might be quite expensive. But like all technology it will get cheaper with time. Also we didn't have any progress in methods of transportation for decades. Yes there are eco friendly cars and self driving cars are coming soon, but it's still over 100 hundred all idea. Jetpacks would be nice, but i doubt we will ever get them. Small, portable locomotion machines are not useful enough.I'm really interested in hyperloop because it is new and kinda revolutionary idea. In
  • The Indian government is always present in the me-too pissing contests. However, when it comes to providing basic services to the more than 600 million Indian citizens without access to them, the Indian government is consistently uninterested to become a me-too.
  • So as we call it in SoCal, light traffic. I don't really see the problem that would require the huge investment in hyperloop. I've been in much worse traffic and commute. Even the good Tokyo train system it's about that speed if not worse. Crossing into SF from East Bay on the BART takes about that long during commuting hours and that's not even close to 27 miles.

  • Elon is the king of vaporware, even worse than Duke Nukem Forever. I don't know if you've noticed but very few of his stuff makes it to market and what does is hugely under the stated promise and over the stated cost. Tesla still doesn't have the cost, range, charge speed nor buildout of universal charging stations. SpaceX won't make it to Mars anymore, the Falcon heavy isn't even out of its design stage, the hyperloop is still an electric cart that barely makes it to the end of a tunnel even under the best

  • HTT [...] plans to build networks of tubes [...]

    Kind of like the Internet... []

  • Trains in India are hyper something; loop is not something I would want to do here: []
  • Yet another gullible government fooled by the monorail scam.

  • Can a 3rd world country afford Hyperloop?

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