Envisioning a National Indian Hyperloop Network
Three Indian states think it’s time to include some bold thinking in transport planning: hyperloop. Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, home to several of India’s largest economic centers including Mumbai, Bangaluru, and Visakhapatnam, are conducting studies with Hyperloop One to understand hyperloop’s feasibility and economic impact in the regions.
If hyperloop networks were established and linked among all three states, India could create a nationwide network that would enable travel within major cities in India in under two hours. This network could create the largest connected urban area in the world by linking nearly 75+ million people across the three states.
“Imagine the potential impact to people’s lives and commerce if travel between Mumbai, Bangaluru, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, and Amaravati could take place in under two hours. Hyperloop could change the face of India just as trains did during the Industrial Revolution,” said Nick Earle, SVP of Global Field Operations, Hyperloop One.
India has had a successful track-record of leapfrogging into new technologies. When mobile services were launched in the mid-1990s, the country moved directly to second generation (2G) technologies and rapidly rolled-out wireless, particularly in unconnected, rural communities. They continued this progression by embracing 4G over 3G. Now India now counts itself amongst the largest telecom markets in the world with more than billion subscribers and 80% mobile penetration. Wireless adoption has been a boon economically with the country realizing a 3.3 percent increase in GDP for every ten percent increase in mobile usage.
Hyperloop presents an opportunity for India to leapfrog again and address weaknesses in its transportation infrastructure. With speeds 2-3 times faster than high-speed rail, hyperloop can connect far-flung Indian cities as if they were metro stops, and offer energy-efficient, on-demand, and cost-effective transport at aircraft speeds.
The three states believe that hyperloop could improve global competitiveness, reduce congestion and emissions, and provide citizens with better social and economic mobility. While the studies underway would identify potential routes in each state, there are plenty of opportunities within each state where hyperloop could make a difference.