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Hyperloop FAQ: 10 of your most burning questions answered

614now Staff

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If you’ve been paying attention to the news at all in the last few, you’ve probably noticed the term “Hyperloop” splashed across headlines. But, what is it, really? Is it possible to get to Chicago in about 40 minutes? If so, how would that feel as a passenger. Better yet, how much would that cost?

You’re not the only one with questions. 614NOW reached out to the Senior Public Information and Diversity Officer of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Bernice Cage, to get answers to some of our most burning hyperloop questions.

What is hyperloop?

Hyperloop is a new mode of transportation that moves freight and people quickly, safely, on-demand and direct from origin to destination. Passengers or cargo are loaded into the hyperloop vehicle and accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The vehicle floats above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag. It’s fully autonomous and enclosed, eliminating pilot error and weather hazards. It’s safe and clean, with no direct carbon emissions.

How fast is hyperloop?

We estimate that the top speed for a passenger vehicle or light cargo will be 670 miles per hour or 1080 kilometers per hour. That is 2-3 times faster than high-speed rail and magnetic levitation trains, and 10-15 times faster than traditional rail. The average speed vehicles will travel vary based on the route and customer requirements.

Is hyperloop safe?

Safety is our number-one priority and we’re designing hyperloop to be inherently safer and more reliable than maglev or high-speed rail. We have no at-grade crossings (by far the leading risk posed by trains), so there are no interactions with other forms of transport or wildlife. We are fully autonomous, so there is no driver related error. We are immune from most weather events. We will have multiple emergency braking techniques, triggering an immediate braking of the vehicle. Vehicles will have a full suite of life support systems, and we have the ability to re-pressurize the tube if needed. We strive to surpass the safety of all existing transport systems, and have a dedicated safety team to work with regulatory authorities to define and implement best practice safety protocols.

What will it feel like riding in the hyperloop?

About the same as riding in an elevator or a passenger plane. Although hyperloop will be fast, the systems we are building will accelerate with the same tolerable G forces as that of a train. With hyperloop, you will be accelerating and decelerating gradually and, depending on the route, we will incorporate banking into our designs to eliminate G-forces even more. And there’s no turbulence.

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When will hyperloop systems be ready for cargo and passengers?

Our goal is to have operational systems in the late 2020s. Our ability to meet that goal will depend on how fast the regulatory and statutory process moves. So far, we’re seeing a very positive response from governments to our technology

How much will it cost to ride?

It’s simple – if it’s not affordable, people won’t use it. We are looking to build something that will expand opportunities for the mass public so they can live in one city with their family and work in another. Currently, that kind of high-speed transport is out of the price range for most people. An exact price will vary due to numerous factors including the route.

The feasibility study completed in Missouri concluded that riding hyperloop from Kansas City to St. Louis could be less than the cost of gas to drive.

How much energy does a hyperloop use?

Virgin Hyperloop One’s system is more efficient than other high-speed modes of transportation. High-speed rail and traditional maglev trains require power along the entire track, while the Virgin Hyperloop One system only requires energy to a portion of the track. Specific energy use will be dependent upon system requirements and the terrain, but estimates show that we could be 5-10x more energy efficient than air travel.

What is Virgin Hyperloop One?

We’re a privately-held company out to create fast, effortless journeys that expand possibilities and eliminate the barriers of distance and time. Virgin Hyperloop One systems will be built on columns or tunneled below ground to avoid dangerous grade crossings and wildlife.

Virgin Hyperloop One is developing a route from Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh

How much funding has Virgin Hyperloop One received?

To date, we have received over $370 million.

Has hyperloop technology been proven?

Virgin Hyperloop One is the only company in the world to have tested its hyperloop technology at scale. We completed the third testing campaign of our full-scale, full-system hyperloop on December 15, 2017. The company achieved historic test speeds of 387 kilometers per hour (240 miles per hour, 107 meters per second).

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COVID-19 puts Columbus Arts Festival on hold until next year

Mitch Hooper

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Citing the COVID-19 outbreak, the Greater Columbus Arts council board has voted to cancel the 2020 Columbus Arts Festival, formerly scheduled for June 12-14.

"As much as we desperately want to go on as planned, we recognize that we must put the health and safety of our patrons, artists, performers, vendors and sponsors first," said Tom Katzenmeyer, President & CEO of GCAC, in a press release. "As we’ve watched the COVID-19 pandemic unfold, with all the uncertainty it holds for the near future, we could not in good conscience hold a festival that would bring artists and visitors from 38 states and four countries, and more than 500,000 people within close proximity to each other on the downtown riverfront."

In past press conferences, Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, has said that we could see the impacts of COVID-19 lasting into May with a gradual drop-off. Currently, Columbus has seen many events in May be canceled including Taco Fest and Six One Pour, both citing public health taking priority over the festivals.

This announcement comes as one of the first events in June to officially cancel due to the Coronavirus. Though it won't be taking place this year, Katzenmeyer remains hopeful for the future of Arts Fest.

"I will miss this energy. I will miss these people. I will miss being a part of this experience, and yes, I will miss fresh lemonade shake ups. But we made this decision to ensure that we all remain healthy and able to enjoy all these wonderful experiences at next year’s Arts Festival. And that is where I have my heart set."

In Central Ohio, June also plays host to the Memorial Tournament, the Pride Parade and Festival, and the Creekside Jazz and Blue Fest. 614Now will have more updates about upcoming events as they become available.

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Aunt Flow pivots manufacturing to help with the COVID-19 outbreak

Mitch Hooper

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Of the many things COVID-19 has exposed a need for, one of the largest topics of conversation has been face masks. From nurses in hospitals to grocery store clerks, these are becoming equally important as they are difficult to find. However, Claire Coder, founder and CEO of Aunt Flow, is pitching in her manufacturing resources to assist in the crisis.

In a Facebook post on March 26, Aunt Flow announced that it has been working around the clock to produce FDA-approved face masks for those in need.

"We are here for YOU. People helping people. PERIOD," the post stated.

https://www.facebook.com/goauntflow/posts/2641440882845957?__xts__[0]=68.ARBUMS95oPw2ZCc9mPy8pgjRK0I51qu-SBsit1FXkGvUkkR2p82F4yiscUHdZ2-ZG-rPDXhpsr75Lb6dfWhaC8TlLSko_Ny5MMYnY_z37TwaEm2CZoHkPA-YHSo3E2e9HpiyGPpzd7kocPW-tx676xDTWWcAtmQC1Vcc6Io_-JPyWSGnpqCYNfpc-5kG6VbjwpXRdnJ6TSAE0sN277g8-DvBZOs0n4WtEKb_sADA6aOA6Gw1FLlzhVXhsoBHtGpbcEFBrK8Xk7IRd_nxbFgBBI_4ZH5avE1kzTtv2ATlJcAdZHgInmjkcz5sG4deeIJeUN2NZP-jaIL_6doeThzbtO4iJtHf&__tn__=-R
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By The Numbers: How COVID-19 has impacted Ohio thus far

Mitch Hooper

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While these numbers are subject to fluctuate and grow throughout the upcoming days and weeks, Ohio.gov has released its current numbers on COVID-19 and its impacts.

Currently, as of March 31, 2020, here are the reports:

  • 2,199 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio
  • 585 total hospitalizations
  • 198 ICU admissions
  • 55 total deaths

The median age of these cases was reported at 53 with a sex split at 49% males and 51% females with a less than 1% not reporting their sex. The age range, however, goes from one year olds to 99-years-old.

614Now will update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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