A SWOT Analysis of the Most Popular New Age Transportation Technology – Technology News, Firstpost

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on January 27, 2017 and is republished with the announcement of Virgin Hyperloop One announces the launch of an operational hyperloop route between Mumbai and Pune, during the current Magnetic Maharashtra Summit.

Elon musk Hyperloop transit system idea was announced in 2012 promising a pneumatic tube transport system. The average speed that these Hyperloop pods should achieve is 970 km / h with a top speed of 1200 km / h. With that comes the promise of covering long distances in minutes.

Since 2012, the Hyperloop concept has been developed by companies such as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) and Hyperloop One. Apart from that, there are many independent entities working on the different aspects of these transport systems such as pods, tubes, etc.

The Hyperloop One XP-1. Image: Virgin Hyperloop One

HTT and Hyperloop One both have expressed interest in the Hyperloop project in India. HTT chairman Bibop Gabriele Gresta proposed a loop between Mumbai and Pune during a meeting with Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. Hyperloop One, on the other hand, has offered a nationwide network that connects all major cities in India.

On February 18, Hyperloop One signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Maharashtra to build and develop the world’s first hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune.

While the commercial deployment of the loop network across India is still in the pipe dream (no pun intended), we have decided to do a SWOT analysis of the project.

Strengths

Reduced journey time
It is obvious. With average speeds of 970 km / h and top speeds of 1,200 km / h, distances could be covered in minutes. So if we consider the average speeds, these are the travel times that we are looking at between several cities: Bengaluru – Thiruvananthapuram – 45 minutes; Chennai – Bangalore – 21 minutes; Bombay – Chennai – 80 minutes; Mumbai – Delhi – 85 minutes and so on.

Cheaper and easier to build
According to this report in Committed, the cost of laying the loop is set at $ 40 million per km, while according to World Bank estimates, the high-speed train project in California for example, the cost is $ 56 million per km km. These costs are expected to be lower in India, but the price delta is expected to remain. In addition, the report states that building a Hyperloop between Stockholm and Helsinki would cost $ 21 billion while the high-speed train project in California is valued at $ 64 billion. We know that these comparisons would not be relevant here. But since no such study has been done on Indian roads, this international case study offers some insight into the cost factor of building a Hyperloop.

Reduced friction and drag
Since the Hyperloop will use pneumatic pods and operate under reduced air pressure, there would be a significant reduction in friction and air drag. This is a factor that must be taken into consideration in all other modes of transport. This means more efficient use of energy and less energy wasted to overcome air drag.

Less area compared to other transportation projects
Based on the mockups we’ve seen of HTT and Hyperloop One, we’re looking at raised, concealed tubes that will carry the “concorde” or compartmental pod that will hold the passengers. Concrete pylons will be needed at short intervals. Compared to the infrastructure and floor space required for stations and airports (we are not considering bus stations, as buses are not competing), the Hyperloop could certainly provide a better value proposition over time. .

Weaknesses

Safety and security
This is by far the biggest weakness. We are talking about an elevated transport system and involving very high speeds inside tubes with low air pressure. Unlike high speed trains, the jets that have precedents such as a regular train or a commercial plane, the Hyperloop has no semblance with any transportation from our present or past. Unless we see a real implementation, this fear of the unknown will be significant.

Higher initial ticket costs
While companies like HTT claim that ticketing would not be a major source of revenue for them as they would be looking at other business models, for all intents and purposes there will be a ticket fee charged for traveling in these pods. During the early years, the cost of a ticket can be considerably higher than a plane or train ticket. It will certainly take some time for this mode of transport to become widespread and for prices to reach reasonable levels. Hyperloop One President Richard Branson, however, said their Mumbai – Pune project will be for the masses and not necessarily a premium-priced service.

Land acquisition
Of course, the area required for the Hyperloop project will be less given that it is an elevated platform, land acquisition is still a delicate subject in India. To get an optimal route, if the Hyperloop networks pass through your garden, few people can like this fact.

Bends or turns could slow it down
It is very difficult to visualize turns or bends in a Hyperloop route, as that would automatically mean reducing the speed of movement of the pods. Thus overcome the goal. Finding a route without turns would be a major weakness.

A national network offered by Hyperloop One.  Image: Daftlogic

A national network offered by Hyperloop One. Image: Daftlogic

Opportunities

Decongestion of cities
The employment opportunities and the slowness of transport have led to many migrations in the cities. It has reached such a point that traveling from point A to point B in a city is strenuous, due to the traffic situations. The growing population in cities is also putting pressure on infrastructure, something that residents of Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and other metros are well aware of. But if there is a mode of transportation that cuts down on travel time, then the distance between your home and your workplace will not matter. The cities will certainly experience some decongestion, as the journey time will decrease considerably.

Professional opportunities
Imagine that you are a businessman in Chennai and have your own house there, but you have to spend several thousand rupees to travel to Mumbai and live here because your business clients are here. With an 80-minute journey time, you can conduct your daytime business in Mumbai and be home for dinner in Chennai without the stress of having to plan your plane trip. This is also linked to the decongestion of cities.

Clean technologies could be stimulated
Hyperloop could certainly give a boost to the clean energy technology movement. According to HTT, since its track is electrified, the transport system consumes little energy compared to high-speed trains which require significantly higher energy and are subsidized by the state. HTT has stated that it will use green energy which will enable it to produce 20% more energy than it can consume.

Boost in the tourism sector
So many working professionals want to take off for a long weekend. Leisure travel still occurs on rare occasions in India, thus limiting the national economic development of tourism. But imagine if you could finish work on a Friday night in your Mumbai office, take a Hyperloop to say Delhi, then continue to Leh via a connecting flight. You can arrive in time for dinner in Leh, explore it for two whole days, and catch an early Monday morning flight back to Delhi and back to Mumbai to be on time for work. As the Hyperloop network grows, it can get many unexplored areas of India on the tourist map thereby boosting the industry.

Threats

High speed trains
Even though infrastructure and investments in high-speed rail networks and high-speed trains can be costly, steps are already underway to ensure they reach India before the Hyperloop. Optimal use of the existing rail network could also speed up the process. In terms of carrying capacity, a train can carry more people than a Hyperloop pod, say.

Cheaper airline tickets
Airline tickets have dynamic pricing and since there is so much competition, airfare may also become cheaper in the future. We are already talking about making air travel affordable for the masses. Affordable airlines such as Southwest, Ryanair, easyJet, etc. could make air travel even more affordable if they were to come to India, thus avoiding paying a premium to save time.

Sabotage
This is linked to the security aspect of the whole project. Sabotage can manifest itself in several ways. We see a lot of “raasta-roko” and “rail-roko” demonstrations. God forbid, there is an unfortunate incident happening on the Hyperloop, what will stop a frenzied crowd from disrupting services on the loop? Vandalism is another fear. We have too many instances of this happening on public property.

It is therefore a SWOT analysis. Let us know if we missed anything.


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