Hyperloop One: The Intersection of Engineering and Design

Setup

How we get around fundamentally shapes the way we live, work, and play. From carriages and sailing ships to steam locomotives and propeller planes, methods of moving people and goods have come a long way. Transportation design, however, is an often-overlooked touchpoint in the realm of user experience. Two pioneers in the industry discuss the top design principles for building the first new major mode of transportation in over 100 years.

Planes, trains, and automobiles: What is Hyperloop One?
Planes, trains, and automobiles: What is Hyperloop One?
How 22nd century transportation will change our cities
Designing a brand-new user experience
How will the transportation systems of the future work together?
1.

Planes, trains, and automobiles: What is Hyperloop One?

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02:26

Imagine traveling at the speed of an aircraft, but just a couple of feet off the ground. This is the easiest way to think about Hyperloop One, says chief technology officer Josh Giegel. Hyperloop vehicles travel autonomously through a system of low-pressure tubes, using electric propulsion to accelerate and magnetic levitation to float above a track. Because Hyperloop operates inside a closed tube, Giegel explains, weather hazards aren’t a problem and the aerodynamic drag is low, which makes it more energy efficient than other high-speed modes of transportation.

Hyperloop engineers estimate that their passenger vehicles will have a top speed of 670 miles per hour. That’s 2 or 3 times faster than the fastest high-speed rail.
2.

How 22nd century transportation will change our cities

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15:59

As the ways people and goods move around the world change, cities and towns must adapt. For the past several centuries, says Jakob Lange, a partner at the architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group, regional planners have created projects with a constant limit in mind, which is the one-hour commute. But integrating a system like Hyperloop would utterly transform how planners conceptualize cities. Watch Lange explain how speeding up travel times from home to work could increase the geographic reach of cities:

Hyperloop One Aif19
How 22nd century transportation will change our cities

3.

Designing a brand-new user experience

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22:29

Hyperloop isn’t a train, plane, or car, so its designers are free to reimagine the experience travelers will have, says Jakob Lange. First, the designers want to streamline the boarding process. Instead of entering a congested transport hub and then finding a terminal and gate, Hyperloop designers envision travelers going to one entrance specific to their destination. From there, they would board a pod that holds 20 to 25 people and be off, traveling in a convoy of pods to the journey’s end. 

One of the transformative changes Hyperloop aims to make, says Josh Giegel, is to eliminate the notion that things operate on a time schedule. People love the ease of watching television shows and movies whenever they want, he explains, so why couldn’t transport be on-demand in the same way?

You can’t be late for something that is always there.
Josh Giegel

On Hyperloop you don’t have to wait half an hour for the next train, or half a day for the next plane, so you can create each of the pods differently and tailor them to various types of travelers, explains Jakob Lange. For example, in a Hyperloop convoy there could be a quiet pod, a family pod, a luxury pod, and a workspace pod. Hyperloop designers want users to feel free to move around, do work, lounge, and conduct meetings, says Lange — experiences that aren’t usually possible in traditional long-distance transportation systems.

4.

How will the transportation systems of the future work together?

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30:02

Hyperloop is one of many new forms of transportation designed to take us into the future and reduce travel time. Each of these new technologies, from autonomous vehicles to drones, has its own competitive advantages and drawbacks — but does our transport ecosystem have room for all of them? Watch Josh Giegel and Jakob Lange explain why they believe these transportation technologies ultimately complement each other:

AIF 2019 hyperloop one
How will the transportation systems of the future work together?

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