In the time than it would take to watch an episode of the '90s Canadian TV show "Due South," you could zip from Montreal to Toronto. That's the long-term vision driving TransPod, a Toronto-based startup working on Hyperloop pod system design.
Recently the company released video renderings of their conceptual pod, showing the components, interiors and features for passengers.
For a while, the heated race to carry out tech mogul Elon Musk's vision for a futuristic high-speed transportation system was mainly between the U.S. startups Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. Now the Canadian startup TransPod aims to develop a working Hyperloop with levitating pods that shoot through low-pressure vacuum tubes.
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"We have either the choice to stay where we are and do nothing -- and stay behind -- or take the lead," TransPod founder and CEO Sebastien Gendron told Global News. "And we have the ability in Canada to do it." Traveling the roughly 330 miles between Montreal and Toronto via Hyperloop would only take about 45 minutes including acceleration and deceleration, Gendron explained. A direct flight currently takes a little over an hour.
In their video renderings, TransPod presents an elongated pod resembling a jet engine made from an unnamed lightweight material. One end has air intake and there's a linear induction motor on the exterior. Inside is a cylindrical multi-stage axial compressor, a "pressure vessel" capped by a bulkhead, and an exhaust nozzle.
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