Whatever happened to the future? Books and movies that tried predicting what would it be like fell flat. At the start of the space age in the 60’s the future looked… futuristic. The best example is the Jetsons cartoon, where people don’t walk and live in the sky. It’s 2017 and were still far away from that. What about transport? Future predictions said that a transport pod would get us where we wanted.

Tubes, pods, conveyor belts, a world without cables, none of that is here in full scale. Nevertheless, there are companies that work in building the future that the past promised. The co-founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, believes that everything the great Nikola thought of is possible. That’s why electric cars are profitable now, Musk also believes that transport pods can rise to the top.

His transport pod project is named Hyperloop, its speed could surpass 700 miles per hour and send people through tubes – just like the Jetsons – to their destination. This project can revolutionize the way we travel, forget planes or cars or trains, this could be faster and safer.

Costa Rican transport pod work

Elon Musk started a contest where pod prototypes for the Hyperloop could compete. For development ends and time-saving, he says that it’s always best to work as a team.  So students from different universities can participate and hand out ideas for the project. A fellow Costa Rican is among the people that performed well at this contest, her name is Sofía Ramírez.

Sofía Ramírez Hyperloop contest Los Angeles Munich University Technical NASA pod
Sofía Ramírez – Photo: Sofía Ramírez to LN

Ramírez is a 29-year-old woman that works at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics in DLR. This is like the German NASA, she participated as part of the Munich UTech. Her team won the award for the fastest pod, one of the main categories in the contest.

The Munich University got a recognition for having the best performance in travel. Ramírez said that the German team was the only one that completed the entire course. The most technical pod award went to the Netherlands team of Delft UTech.

The Costa Rican added that she worked in different subsystems. Ramirez took part mainly in energy supply through battery use but participated in brakes and levitation as well. Ramirez lives in Germany since she was 18. Talk about having those astronauts dreams come true, why think about the final frontier when you can change the way the world travels?

About 700 teams entered the Hyperloop Pod Competition but only 30 passed to the next round. In the end, 27 teams presented at Los Angeles and only three got testing permissions. The final trials used the tube built by Space X, which belongs to Elon Musk.

Is Hyperloop transport a real possibility?

A great idea is still just an idea if it’s not supported economically. In other words, if you don’t have the money, you can’t have a Hyperloop. However, there are people that manage great wealth and want this transport pod, Dubai.  Hyperloop One signed a deal with the local transport authorities and the first ones having it are them. Rob Lloyd, executive of the company said that they’re working on making that happen.

Hyperloop Transport Pod Dubai Emirates Abu Dhabi fast travel
Hyperloop in Dubai-Photo: whatson.ae

The agreement is making a route where the system can work. The goal is reducing traveling time between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the two most important cities in the Emirates. The Middle East government wants the trip to be 12 minutes long. After the agreement, little details were known to the media, but Lloyd said that the first Hyperloop One in the Emirates could work in the next five years.

The next big year for the future is 2021, at least transport-wise. These transport pods look really promising, especially after self-driving cars seem in a stall. The world needs more people that innovate and not recycle old ideas over and over again. Maybe one of these inventions may spark a creative genius that changes the way we live. After all, the best specialists can develop anywhere, everything starts with self-belief.