Hyperloop

When I first heard about Hyperloop, it really sounded like an incredible next step in transportation. It theorizes that we can travel at the speed of sound at low costs whilst not making a huge impact on the environment. Welcome to the wonderful world of Hyperloop.

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It all started when Elon Musk released a white paper on this technology of how we can transport people through low-pressure tubes. There are a couple of firms out there right now who are working on bringing this to reality.

I had this thought recently when I was travelling to the east coast, heading towards the Kuala Besut jetty to catch a ferry to Perhentian Islands. The east coast was very much connected via a series of small trunk roads and recently the new east coast highway.

Of course, my first imagination would be if there were high-speed rail networks connecting KL, Ipoh, Penang, Malacca, Johor with the east coast cities such as Kelantan, Kuala Terengganu and Kuantan, that would definitely boost the economy in these regions. If folks from the east coast could take a train which would only take 45minutes to reach KL, more and more people might still want to stay outside of KL.

Now, taking one step further, if only Hyperloop came into the picture. Imagine how crazy that would be. Perhaps as crazy as having our own dedicated internet line from our east coast and east Malaysia direct to Silicon Valley.

Bibop Gresta
Bibop Gresta, speaking at Digi Malaysia as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Community

Recently I had the pleasure of listening to Bibop Gresta, the Co-CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies speak at Digi Malaysia. He spoke about the technology and the vision of Hyperloop and possible, a working line by 2018.

Interestingly in the audience was one of the heads of the firm who is working on the high-speed rail network between KL and Singapore, MyHSR. As the ink was already set up, it would be absolutely ground-breaking if the Hyperloop would replace that line. Why? Imagine reaching Singapore from KL within 30 minutes! The Hyperloop targets to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco within 30 minutes for passengers at speeds of up to 750mph (1207kmh).

Bibop Gresta
Group Photo, from left (Bibop, myself, Amran)

The concept of Hyperloop is unique not in terms of technology but how they are crowdsourcing ideas, technologies, and investments. If you want to learn more about that, click on this link.

The startup does seem rather unique, because of it’s way of crowdsourcing ideas and volunteer engineers. What makes it equally crazy is that they want to make it free for users. How does it then make money? The technology has a number of side products, which is energy and also drawing water throughout the lines to areas which are lacking in water. When that doesn’t work, they will feature new technologies to supplement their income.