Remember what it was like to be a kid on Saturday mornings in summer? You’d wake up to the soft whirring of the fan in your window and see a bright patch of blue sky. From outside you’d hear the lawn mower, and you’d know your dad was out getting the yard work done, trying to beat the heat of the day. You’d lay there a minute, watching air particles floating in the sunshine streaming in. Then, you’d stretch and decide it was time to do something about your grumbling stomach. So, you’d get out of bed and make your way to the kitchen.
Once you got there, you’d open the cupboard and pull out all your favorite varieties of cold cereal: Fruit Loops, Captain Crunch, Honeycomb, and Frosted Flakes. You’d grab a cold gallon jug of milk from the fridge and head for the couch with your bowl and spoon, too. And, once you’d settled in, turned on the TV, and found your favorite cartoon, everything seemed right in the world.
What cartoons did you watch as a young person? All of us have memories of shows we loved, but we’re gonna reference a specific one today. Remember watching The Jetsons, the family that was so futuristic with the way they traveled? (I mean, for starters, they flew around in their own family jet in the same way that we use cars today. And then, they’d drop out of the jet in their own little space tubes and go precisely to the destinations they had to arrive at.)
And then there was an episode where George Jetson was being summoned to his boss’ office at work, speeding through a pneumatic tube to get there quickly. The funny thing is…as crazy as that may have once seemed, it doesn’t seem so crazy any more. In fact, plans for fast tube travel are well underway, being developed and tested as we come closer to that reality.
The Hyperloop is a concept that Elon Musk released in 2013, encouraging others to take the idea and run with it since he didn’t have time to work on it himself. The basic idea is that a passenger capsule will travel in virtually air-free tubes, up to 1200 mph.
Just to put that kind of speed into perspective, consider this: there is a proposed route for the Hyperloop from Los Angeles to San Francisco, with a travel time of just 35 minutes between the two cities.
As a passenger on Hyperloop, you’d definitely feel that get-up-and-go on takeoff and when the pod decelerates upon arrival, but it wouldn’t exceed that of 2 to 3 times what is currently experienced by passengers on aircrafts.
Since Musk released the idea and encouraged others to develop it, engineering teams and students around the world have been working to design models, capsules, station layouts, and testing tracks.
While there are some voiced concerns about the project and the comfort level for the passengers, these problems are being addressed and it’s quite feasible that there will come a day when business travel is completely revolutionized by the Hyperloop, making it possible to get from Point A to Point B, hundreds of miles apart, in minutes.
One of the other benefits? Hyperloop could effectively run off of solar power, making it a transportation option that is clean, green, and fantastic for the environment.
While it sounds crazy and sci-fi and all that jazz, it’s actually the world we’re living in. And while the Hyperloop would make sense for long distances, vehicles will still be a great transportation method for shorter distances. It’s very likely that, in coming years, there will be a new fast mode of transportation (like the Hyperloop, for example) that will change how you travel for business conferences and expos. But, you’ll still need group transportation solutions for the office Christmas party, an executive retreat closer to home, or just to shuttle guests at a business gala. For these types of events, there really is no solution like the motorcoach!