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First Look Inside a Hyperloop Pod Makes You Long for Those Roomy Airplane Cabins
Since we're mostly dealing with cars, we tend to focus on the pollution issues related to land vehicles, but the truth is that ships are the biggest offender when it comes to the release of greenhouse gasses and particulates into the atmosphere thanks to their humongous diesel engines.

First Look Inside a Hyperloop Pod Makes You Long for Those Roomy Airplane Cabins

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies' pod interior renderingHyperloop Transportation Technologies' pod interior renderingHyperloop Transportation Technologies' pod interior renderingHyperloop Transportation Technologies' pod interior rendering
Airplanes aren't that bad, but they still burn tons of fuel each day. However, until we can find a cleaner way of moving people over long distances in a relatively short time, nobody is crazy enough to propose we gave up on them. Hyperloop promises to solve this problem by using a system that relies on electric power, and not very much of it.

You've probably heard everything there is to about Hyperloop by this time, so we won't go into detail. In brief, it's a land transportation system that uses pods traveling through a vacuum tube by gliding over magnetic rails.

The idea - first put forward by Elon Musk - is that by reducing friction (both with the air and the rails), the pods could reach speeds just below that of the sound while consuming a moderate quantity of energy.

It all sounds great, but there are obviously some issues. The first and most important is that the Hyperloop will require a whole new infrastructure, which will take time and money.

Second, it won't be able to cross oceans, so even if it does succeed, we'll still have to rely on planes for that. Third, the passengers will have to sit in tight, enclosed capsules that go through an opaque tube. The elevators can breathe a huge sigh of relief: the claustrophobes are about to meet their new worst enemy.Suck it in
Yesterday, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies - one of the companies who take part in the race to offer the best iteration of this system - presented its proposal for the interior of its pods, and let's just say we're a little worried.

Have a look at that aisle, and tell us if anyone bar a fashion model could walk there one foot in front of the other; or that slightly overweight people (and we can't emphasize the word "slightly" enough) will be able to get from one end to the other without having their bodies covered in bruises.

The seats aren't much better, either. They look like the transportation equivalent of an office cubicle, only a lot smaller. You are already trapped into a speeding bullet, so there's no point in making the whole experience even more burdening on the senses.

I would have thought that the designers would be focusing on fooling the passengers into believing they were in a more roomy vehicle. Building more walls in a tight space is like wearing horizontal stripes when you're fat.

And why separate the two adjacent seats? Is it forbidden to travel with your wife? Are you not allowed to touch each other? Is the Hyperloop run by a monastery or something? Those predictions of a dystopic future where we don't interact with anybody are proving to be true. At least it's got windows. Oh, wait, it doesn't.Welcome to the future
Well, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies actually put a lot of thought into that, and came up with what it calls "Augmented Windows" (not sure Microsoft wouldn't have liked that name at some point in the future).

Since you can't look outside unless you've got x-ray vision, you'll have to gaze at a display. Given the speed the pod will be traveling at (700 mph - 1,126 km/h), watching the scenery go by might have given you a headache anyway, so maybe this is for the better.

The "windows" provide the passenger with additional information such as time, outside temperature, weather conditions, a map and other useful stuff. Some clever motion detection software will adjust the image so that it always offers a credible perspective depending on where the viewer's eyes are. That's nice, but everyone will probably be watching a movie or something anyway.

And then there's the discrepancy between the seats shown in the renderings and those that show up in the video. If we were to choose, we'd go for the design in the clip. They seem much more ergonomic, they don't isolate you from everyone and everything around, they appear to be reclinable (unlike those in the renderings), and they look like they've got plenty of leg room on offer.

We're not sure what HTT hoped our reaction would be following this reveal, but it might have just unintentionally helped the airline companies. If this is what the future looks like, it's a good thing we still have time to enjoy the swathes of space available in the economy section of an airplane.


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