The internet has allowed human beings to be more connected than ever before; we now have ‘virtual’ versions of most activities online and this concept has broken down major barriers from a consumer and business stand point, opening up opportunities that would not have been feasible 20 years ago.
In the transport sector, there are brilliant minds that are always researching and testing ways for that ‘connection’ piece to be enhanced by cutting down travel times between two points. This is being done through innovative measures like building aircraft that can get around the world in a couple of hours by temporarily leaving the atmosphere of the earth.
On land however there are a number of companies that are currently building working prototypes of travel devices that will turn what would usually be a 12 hour drive into a 20 minute overland commute – the future has never looked so efficient.
For those unfamiliar with the term Hyperloop, it is a conceptual high-speed transportation system put forward by entrepreneur Elon Musk. It incorporates reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurised capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors.
Bibop Gresta, cofounder and COO at Hyperloop Transportation Technologies in California, will be coming to Australia to talk at the annual Pause Fest Conference in 2016. He will be sharing insights about the company, the future of transport, and how Australia can leverage Hyperloop technology one day.
The company is currently doing the Hyperloop project in stages. The first phase was to basically come out with a feasibility study. This phase recently finished in August, when the company announced the completion of the feasibility study, as well as the filing the conditional permit.
Right now there are two major things happening: the first is that the team is starting to build the first Hyperloop system in Quay Valley (CA), and the second is that the company is now scrutinising around 250 companies around the world who are pitching to construct the Hyperloop.
There has been a lot of conversations among the Pause Fest community about a Hyperloop system being built between Australia’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne. Gresta says that there are several cities that are currently being analysed.
“The first full scale Hyperloop will probably not be in America,” says Gresta. “Right now, we’re already in talks with several countries and we have several cities paired. Without going into too many details, one of the options [is between Sydney and Melbourne] but let’s say it’s not the most probable one. We are having very advanced discussions as well with two countries in Asia, and what we need right now is a place that has high density population. They also have less restrictive regulations. Australia is a very interesting market in terms of the initial requirements. We are in initial discussions with the Australian government there on their regulatory part.”
One of the most interesting aspects of what the company is doing revolves around the sustainability of its system and structures. The Hyperloop system uses renewable energy like solar, wind, kinetic energy, and geothermal energy.
“We are able to produce more electricity than we consume,” says Gresta. “We are producing electricity that we can give back to the land owners, so if you think about it, landowners can receive water, electricity, bandwidth and also participate in the business of the Hyperloop.”
It is this these types of specifics that are sure to be of interest when Gresta takes the stage at Pause Fest in 2016.
Pause Fest 2016 will take place at Federation Square on the 8th – 14th of February 2016. Tickets can be purchased here.