Virgin Hyperloop has given us a glimpse of our travel future, with a concept video of how they imagine people jumping into hyper-accelerated tubes to whisk across the world in a matter of hours. It all looks rather scifi, but then, as a science fiction website, we applaud that!
It’s also low carbon long-distance travel, compared to those big old metal-air fly-ee tubes.
Following their recent passenger tests, Virgin Hyperloop are currently working towards regulation and certification of hyperloop systems around the world. The company aims to achieve safety certification by 2025, with commercial operations – such as those depicted in this video – beginning in 2030.
The Hyperloop can be used for passenger and freight transportation, with first designs released by a joint team from Tesla and SpaceX in 2013 – although a version of the concept, called ‘The Atmospheric’ – appeared earlier in Stephen Hunt’s 2007 novel Court of the Air and his other Jackelian series of steampunk fantasy novels.
Here at SFcrowsnest, we’ve taken the Virgin Hyperloop projected travel speed and worked out how fast you could travel around the world using the old ‘Loop.
London to Brighton – 7 minutes.
London to Birmingham – 11 minutes.
London to Cardiff – 13 minutes.
London to Manchester – 18 minutes.
London to Paris – 19 minutes.
London to Penzance – 25 minutes.
London to Glasgow – 36 minutes.
London to Zurich – 43 minutes.
London to Madrid – 1 hours, 10 minutes.
London to Alicante – 1 hours, 52 minutes.
London to Moscow – 2 hours, 19 minutes.
London to Jerusalem – 4 hours, 37 minutes.
London to New York – 5 hours, 9 minutes (tunnel needed).
London to Beijing – 7 hours, 32 minutes.
London to Tokyo – 8 hours, 51 minutes (tunnel needed).
From these times, you can see that a whole world of global commuting will open up, as well as strange leisure activities – knock off work in some big city in the centre of a country, then, ‘Hey, drinks on the beach, anyone?’ Or, living in London, ‘Let go see that show in Edinburgh after lunch.’