Although we're yet to see a Hyperloop system hit its promised subsonic speeds, it is full steam ahead when it comes to route-planning and feasibility studies. Together with the local government, Richard Branson's Virgin Hyperloop One has today announced plans to build a 25-minute Hyperloop connection between the Indian cities of Pune and Mumbai, which is currently a two-hour trip by car.
A fully developed Hyperloop would see passenger and cargo pods travel through near-vacuum tubes at around 700 mph (1,126 km/h). Virgin Hyperloop One has its competitors, but it is the only Hyperloop company so far to build a full-scale test track, pod and shuttle it along at anything close to this velocity, with a 387 km/h (240 mph) effort in December its fastest run so far.
But the lack of a proven system doesn't appear to be a problem for the growing number of governments around the world forming agreements with the company. The city of Dubai, the state of Missouri and Russia are just a few examples of authorities getting onboard the Hyperloop One train, with feasibility studies already underway in those locations and India also having formed an agreement with rival Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.
That deal seeks to develop a Hyperloop in the south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh, connecting the cities of Amaravati and Vijayawada by way of a six-minute transport link rather than the hour it currently takes by car. The Pune to Mumbai link in India's western state of Maharashtra is seen as particularly important given the region's growth.