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The Dublin Port Tunnel was likened to this futuristic transport idea

Hyperloop Tech wants to create large-scale pressurised air tubes which it believes will change transport.

SOMETIMES YOU COME across ideas that are far-fetched or incredibly ambitious, depending on your perspective.

One of them is Hyperloop, a conceptual transport system where capsules can travel through large-scale pressurised air tubes. Think of how pneumatic tubes work but make it big enough to fit capsules with people in them and you get the idea.

Art Animated GIF Source: Giphy

Inside the tubes, the system operates at 1/1,000th the air pressure we normally experience, allowing it to reach speeds of up to 700mph (1,126kmh), with connected networks ranging from 40km to more than 10,000km.

The idea was originally Elon Musk’s, the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, who announced the idea in 2013. A number of companies are trying to create their own version and Hyperloop Tech is one of them, having started back in June 2014.

Its co-founder Brogan BamBrogan says it expects to have a full-scale working prototype prepared for next year.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 1.53.53 p.m. A sketch of the Hyperloop concept, which was first envisioned by Tesla Motors' Elon Musk. Source: Telsa Motors

“Proving the system in 2016 is absolutely what we will accomplish”, said BamBrogan. “The first three project around the world that will demonstrate the transformational nature of Hyperloop will be very important decision for us”.

The other interesting part is the apparent interest there is in the product. Saying it could be one of the great innovations of this century is a big promise, but they claim that countries from Europe, Asia and the US have expressed interest in the concept.

We have incoming requests from around the world. A lot from Europe, parts of Asia couple of opportunities in the US. By 2020 we should be clearly demonstrating the economic advantages, the lower cost [of operating it].

The current challenge is bringing the costs of building such a system down to more affordable levels with BamBrogan saying the company could “build it today, but it would be very expensive”.

Its CEO Rob Lloyd compared what it plans to do with the Dublin Port Tunnel, a project designed to reduce traffic congestion in the city centre, saying that it can adapt the project to different countries depending on their need.

Last night, our taxi took us through the Dublin Port Tunnel, a private partnership there’s a fee charged and the construction of that tunnel was to remove trucks [from Dublin city centre], it’s exactly one of the ways we want to transform ports with Hyperloop.

When asked about the possible safety concerns relating to its development, BamBrogan said it has “the possibility of being far safer than current modes of transportation” but mentioned it would likely focus more on transporting cargo than people first.

The first routes it develops will be vital to its success, he said, but he said that cargo and freight is a more straightforward challenge since there are fewer challenges to face.

Read: What exactly is the ‘other’ section in your phone’s storage space for? >

Read: What the 25-year-old Irish founder of a $5 billion company told the Web Summit >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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