Six months after the first proposal of building a modern transportation system in India gained ground, Hyperloop India has taken its first step.
Founded in 2015 by a small group of students from BITS Pilani, Team Hyperloop India is a unique multi-disciplinary multi-university think tank consisting of 60+ motivated student volunteers in the fields of engineering and business, interested in reinventing transportation in India. As a primarily student collaboration, our plan is to leverage our performance in global incentive prize competitions to leapfrog transportation in India.
Hyperloop India, which has got backing from Elon Musk, has partnered with Workbench Projects, a Bengaluru-based start-up, which will build the first pod prototype that hypothetically claims to be immune from weather conditions, collision free, travels twice the speed a airplane’s speed, consumes low power and comes with energy storage for a whole day.
“We have signed the partnership with Hyperloop India for building a 4×2 metre pod”, said Workbench Projects Founder and CEO Pavan Kumar. Engineers from Tesla and SpaceX are working on this transportation pod, which can be used anywhere in the world.
Hyperloop India consists of 80 students from BITS Pilani, Indian School of Business (ISB), IIM-Ahmedabad, National Institute of Design, RV College of Engineering, Xavier’s Institute of Management, amongst others. Their pod prototype ‘OrcaPod’ has been selected for the final stage of SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Design competition, which will be held in California. While the pod is still in the making, the design will be inspired by Orca, the whale.
Hyperlooop India along with Workbench Projects is looking to raise the funds through crowdfunding platform Ketto, to build this pod in India. The amount that they are looking to raise is around Rs. 75 lakh, which, according to Sibesh Kar, Team Lead and Founder, Hyperloop India, would be used to build a most frugal pod in the world.
“The average cost of building (pod) would be Rs. 3 crore,” he said.
Ketto will start an online campaign from late evening under the title ‘Join the Loop’ to invite contributions from all over the world, he said. “The campaign will run for the next 45 days, and aims to raise Rs 30 lakh or more to build the – OrcaPod prototype
So far, Hyperlooop and Workbench have managed to raise Rs. 30 lakh from a few corporates and both the Central and Karnataka governments have lent their support for this project.
Further, most of the materials such as high-grade aluminum or FRC will be sourced from India but the magnet, will be sourced from China.
Kar explained that the electrical components, electronics, which would include software programming will all be done locally.
When asked about Intellectual Property, Kar said that as it is still being built and the technology of hyperloop is itself in a nascent stage, the company wants to focus on building the pod first.
Around 80 people, across different disciplines such as engineering, economics and software programmers are collaborating to build this pod.