Inside Hyperloop News

Will India be the first country to host the Hyperloop?

Every week media outputs an update or two on the Hyperloop project and its path to the market. Elon Musk’s brainchild of a project is a magnet to attention, which attracts passion seekers as well as it builds concept awareness.
This week, based on The Economic Times reporting, we hear of a slight progression in regards to the discourse between Hyperloop Transportation Technologies company and the Indian administration.

According to a top Indian government official, “We had received a proposal from the company which has now been referred to Niti Aayog.”

For some background knowledge, the Niti Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) is an Indian government-based think tank created to foster engagement in the economic policy-making process. This agency, which was founded in January of 2015 by the Indian Prime Minister, will be deciding the fate of Hyperloop’s proposal to set up shop in India.
Road transport and highways minister, Nitin Gadkari, is also in contact with US-based Hyperloop Transport Technology and acts as a key player in this decision.

“We have no resistance to the upcoming global technology,” transport minister Gadkari continued, “however, since the hyperloop technology is yet to be operational anywhere in the world, we need to know how feasible it is.”

Interest levels of incorporating a new-age transportation system in the Indian country are high, though so are the risks and concerns. Proposing such a future-thinking concept without any viable insurance of experience, Hyperloop today still stirs anxiety over passenger safety.
Originally, the Hyperloop was drawn up with intention to serve both people (substitutive of current railways in major cities) and freight corridor. However, it doesn’t seem likely that the Indian administration will begin transporting people anytime soon.

“Their claim is impressive. However, we are not considering them for passenger transportation. We could consider them for a greenfield dedicated freight corridor for movement of containers and white goods,” a senior railway ministry official said.

For those fiscal and business-minded folks there’s no need to worry; the gain of revenue from the freight transportation industry is estimated to be multiple that of which would be generated from moving people. Us humans must wait our turn for our first ride.


Towards more efficient mobile data services on public transport

With access to mobile data services in public transport vehicles becoming increasingly common, the demand is set to rise. Up till now, the deployment of moving-base stations on public transport, with each vehicle forming a moving network (MN), was considered the most efficient. But inter-cell interference, worsened by the street canyon effect, constitutes a challenge, especially in urban areas. And with wireless data traffic predicted to increase drastically over the next decade, solutions that meet the capacity demand of 5th generation mobile communication systems are necessary.

Researchers from Florida International University seem to have found one. Yutao Sui, Ismail Guvenc, and Tommy Svensson presented their research at the 2014 5G for Ubiquitous Connectivity conference in Levi, Finland. Having compared various alternatives, they argue that using MNs with advanced multi-antenna systems improves the quality of the service for vehicular users without compromising the performance of regular outdoor users.

They explain that such advanced antenna solutions can be integrated into moving relay nodes of the vehicles because the latter are not significantly constrained by power and transceiver complexity. The necessary modifications of the current mobile communication systems proposed by them appear to be easy to implement by simply introducing new protocols.

Learn more about why the use of moving networks constitutes a promising approach by reading the full paper here.


Tailor-made journey: Tube Star app for a customized journey quality

Have you ever thought about the quality of life on public transportation? This part of life becomes even more important if you live in a big city and make your way through the hundreds people on a daily basis.

Two researcher from the University of Cambridge and the University College London have presented their study on Crowd-Sourced Experiences on Public Transport at Mobiquitous 2014, the  11th International Conference on Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Computing, Networking and Services, which took place on December 2-5, 2014 in London (UK).

Neal Lathia and Licia Capra proposed their study on a native Android application, Tube Star, which allows travellers to exchange qualitative and real time information about London Tube. As highlighted by the two researchers: “the application leverages the same techniques (ratings and tweet-style text) that social media sites use, but channels these into interfaces that reflect the structure of the transport system, rather than the users’ social networks.”

The focus is also on the quality of information: most of the android users studied by Lathia and Capra were updating statuses not with the institutional info, but that on heat or crowdedness of the public transportation. This information might be very important for passengers: an old person could opt for a less crowded transportation, while an employee might not pay attention to the crowdedness factor. The study also analyzes the accuracy and speed of user updates: announcements from travellers were faster than those from transportation authorities (e. g. in case of accidents or technical problems).

What is the direction for the future? It most probably is the next generation development for transportation info where users are not passive, but can interact and exchange updates among each other in a more effective way than through institutional information. As affirmed by the researchers: “The combination of qualitative and real-time information that can be gathered directly from travellers can be leveraged to build the next generation of personalised travel experience applications advocated in. To achieve this goal, techniques to engage travellers into sharing experiences, as seamlessly and continuously as they may produce status updates on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, are required.”

Are you ready to discover all the details about the research? Click here to see the paper.