IIT Madras and the Indian Railways are collaboratively set to develop India’s Hyperloop which makes travel at flight-like speeds possible by using magnetic levitation technology in tubes. The Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday approved funds worth ₹ 8.34 crores for the IIT Madras’s collaborative project on Hyperloop. Team Avishkaar Hyperloop, which is spearheading the project sent a research proposal to the Ministry of Railways, which requested a collaborative indigenous development of first-of-its-kind Hyperloop-based transportation and its subsystems at the discovery campus at Thaiyur. They also proposed establishing a Centre of Excellence at IIT Madras for Hyperloop technology.
According to the Ministry, the Hyperloop’s low energy requirement grabbed its attention. This underlines this technology’s potential to help the country attain carbon neutrality. The ministry said that in terms of its performance, it would match the American Virgin Hyperloop Facility, but will be significantly more cost-efficient than it. It further added that this project caught its attention after knowing that Team Avishkar Hyperloop is working on it since 2017 using scalability and frugal innovation.
The Ministry’s funding is till 2022 and as the project progresses, more steps will be taken. The minister after seeing the technology’s demo told the local media that Hyperloop is an evolving technology, yet he is impressed by the project so far. The team had secured a top-10 world ranking at the 2019 Space-X Hyperloop Pod competition. Their project was awarded the ‘Most scalable design award’ at the European Hyperloop Week (2021). The Indigenous Hyperloop which would be 500 meters long is expected to have a top speed of 1,220 km/h and would be ready by this year’s end. The team vouches to develop the world’s largest student-created Hyperloop centre that can serve as a testing environment for the Railway ministry for further research.
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