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A Step Forward in the Promise of Ultrafast ‘Hyperloops’

first_imgMOAPA, Nev. — Hyperloop technology, which promises to transport people and goods at speeds of up to 600 miles an hour, has long seemed too good to be true. But one company says it has cleared an important step toward commercializing it by moving two of its employees through a test system.Virgin Hyperloop became the first company to conduct a human test of the technology on Sunday at its 500-meter test track in the desert north of Las Vegas. The two volunteers, wearing casual street clothes, were whisked in a pod that was levitated by magnets inside a vacuum tube to 107 m.p.h. in 6.25 seconds.- Advertisement – The ability to move people safely at this stage of the technology’s development is not that important, said the company’s chief executive, Andres de Leon. “We’re testing the program from an engineer’s point of view, not from that of a marketer’s.”In the Netherlands, Hardt, a 35-employee hyperloop company, has built a 30-meter track that lets the company test its levitation, propulsion and lane-switching technologies. The company has teamed up with Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to research the feasibility of a hyperloop linking major airports in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and Britain. “This is a step of historical significance,” said Jay Walder, the company’s chief executive, pointing to 20 months of planning. “I don’t think you can overstate it. This is a moonshot moment. I have no doubt this will change the world.”Whether it becomes a giant leap for mankind is still unclear.Virgin’s test might be as symbolically important as it is crucial to the technology’s ultimate success. While the pod traveled at a much slower speed than what proponents of hyperloops claim the technology is capable of, company officials described it as a safety milestone.- Advertisement – Many experts are skeptical that the technology will live up to its grand promises or be economically viable.A truck striking the tube could shut the system down, said Carlo Van de Weijer, the general manager of the Netherlands’ Eindhoven AI Systems Institute. As the system aged, it would require expensive maintenance. Hyperloops also might not be able to transport as many people or goods as its proponents claim because individual pods would need to slow down to enter spur tracks.“Every breakthrough starts with a strange idea,” Dr. Van de Weijer said. “But not every strange idea is a breakthrough.”Like high-speed rail systems, hyperloop companies will have to acquire expensive rights of way, said Juan Matute, deputy director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.The tubes that carry hyperloop pods will need to be very straight for high-speed travel, and turns will have to be very wide. Once routes are set, acquiring every needed parcel of land could become a nightmare. “If a route has been picked, there are no alternatives,” Mr. Matute said. “Airlines do not have this problem.”Still, some government officials and hyperloop entrepreneurs are determined to pursue the technology. Virgin Hyperloop, which has doubled its work force to 300 over the last two years and has raised over $400 million, has selected West Virginia as the site for a certification center and a six-mile test track. The modern hyperloop concept was first described in 2012 by Elon Musk, the top executive of SpaceX and Tesla. He offered up the idea to anybody who wanted to exploit it, and neither he nor his companies are working on hyperloops.Virgin Hyperloop, which counts Richard Branson’s Virgin Group as a minority investor, is one of several companies looking to commercialize the technology, which they hope will eventually move passengers between cities, and cargo to and from ports.If it functions as advertised, travel time could be cut significantly — a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco could, for example, take less than an hour.Mr. Walder has intimate knowledge of transportation systems, having served as the head of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Transport for London. Mr. Walder claimed that hyperloop technology could be the first new mass transit system in a century.“The U.S. Interstate Highway System, which began in 1956, cannot be the end of our imagination in terms of how we move around,” he said. With hyperloop, “we can have a fundamentally different transportation system.”Unlike trains, which run on fixed schedules, hyperloop pods would function more like smart elevators. Artificial intelligence would adjust destinations, the number of pods that travel in a convoy and departure times based on demand. The test also gives a sense of reality to an otherwise abstract sci-fi-like construct. “You can show the most elegant diagram but at the end of the day what is important is, will people ride it? This is an example of a picture worth a thousand words,” Ms. Luchian said. The riders sat in molded seats covered in white vegan leather, housed inside the all-white carbon fiber-clad pod.While the G-forces on the pod were three times that of an airplane, “it was much smoother than I expected,” said Sara Luchian, 37, one of the test riders and the company’s director of passenger experience. And unlike an airplane, there were no lateral forces that would have caused the pod to sway, she said. It has several projects in planning stages: a route between Pune and Mumbai in India; another between Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia; and one connecting Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh.“We’re highly positive and very intrigued with the possibilities for hyperloop,” said Thea Ewing, a director for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.The council estimates that over 30 years, a hyperloop connecting those cities would displace 1.9 billion car and truck trips, reduce carbon emissions by 2.4 million tons and generate $300 billion in economic benefits.Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a company based in Los Angeles and Dubai, has built a 320-meter test track in Toulouse, France, and is designing a 1,000-meter test track for Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. It has also formed a partnership with a container operator at the port of Hamburg to design a system to move cargo.center_img “It felt not that much different than accelerating in a sports car,” said Josh Giegel, 35, the company co-founder and the other volunteer rider.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Hyperloop companies have been encouraged by government findings that the technology is feasible. In 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation put the Federal Railroad Administration in charge of developing standards and regulations for hyperloops.In Europe, several hyperloop companies have created a technical committee to develop standards, which they hope will be adopted by the European Union.After Mr. Giegel and Ms. Luchian entered the capsule, it was pushed into a decompression chamber to await the creation of a vacuum. At that point, the gate valve opened and the pod entered the tube, ready for the test.Virgin’s successful human tests could give true believers in the technology a psychological boost. The company’s executives believe that the system will be commercialized by the end of the decade. But it’s the movement of cargo that Hardt is developing first. “It’s less risky and it’s easier for stakeholders if we don’t emphasize passengers,” said the company’s chief commercial officer, Mars Geuze. “It’s easier to take the smaller steps.”Two other companies, TransPod in Toronto and Zeleros in Valencia, Spain, are also working to develop hyperloop systems. “This technology could be the transition to the future we all want,” Mr. Giegel said. “Today we went from infancy to adolescence.” “The No. 1 question I get from investors is, ‘Is it safe enough to ride?’” said Mr. Giegel. “We’re everyday people, we’re not astronauts. This shows that it’s safe, and observers can take this back to their investors and interested municipalities.”last_img read more

Nicolas Pepe says he already has a telepathic understanding with Arsenal star Alexandre Lacazette

first_imgAdvertisement Emery is giving serious consideration to starting Pepe against Liverpool (Picture: Getty)‘For example, in the first match, he played 15 minutes in Newcastle, then he played 45 minutes against Burnley. I think his individual performances are progressively getting better. For Saturday, he is maybe ready to have more minutes.‘I am going to decide [on Friday], but really his progress has been positive and has been good for the team and for him. The most important piece of the adaptation is to help him to feel easy and be comfortable with us.’More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Comment Advertisement Pepe has quickly struck up a bond with Lacazette on and off the pitch (Picture: Getty)Speaking to BT Sport, he explained: ‘There’s a lot of players who speak French here: Aubameyang and Lacazette who link up well.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘It’s certainly easier for me to play with French-speaking players. On the pitch, you can see that we look for and find each other.‘It will take some time because we don’t know each other yet, but little movements show us we can find one another quickly.‘Based on how it’s been in training with Laca. We’ve been able to find each other with our eyes shut.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityPepe came on at half-time against Burnley last time out, playing 45 minutes, and Emery suggested the winger is now ready for more minutes – and therefore a start – at Anfield.‘Now he is three weeks into working here with us. He didn’t do the pre-season here but he’s progressively feeling better,’ the Arsenal boss explained.center_img Metro Sport ReporterFriday 23 Aug 2019 11:30 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link881Shares The Ivory Coast international is getting on the same wavelength as his new teammates (Picture: Getty)Arsenal new boy Nicolas Pepe has revealed that he has already forged an excellent understanding with new teammate Alexandre Lacazette and they can find each other ‘with their eyes shut’.The Ivory Coast international moved to the Emirates in a club-record £72million deal from Lille over the summer, coming off the bench against both Newcastle and Burnley.Manager Unai Emery has hinted that he could start when Arsenal take on Liverpool on Saturday and if he does, he will have no problems clicking with the rest of the team. Nicolas Pepe says he already has a telepathic understanding with Arsenal star Alexandre Lacazettelast_img read more

Safdar leads Orange into ACC weekend matchups against Clemson, Georgia Tech

first_img Published on April 9, 2014 at 11:28 pm Komal Safdar elevated her position as a reliable player for Syracuse when she provided the team’s two biggest victories of the season.The junior came from behind in her singles matches to beat ranked opponents Virginia Tech and Florida State. She said it was those experiences in close matches that provided Safdar with the confidence to compete against any opponent in the Atlantic Coast Conference.“When I face pressure situations in my matches today, I visualize moments in those two previous matches which gives me more confidence and belief in my ability,” Safdar said in an email.Safdar has emerged as a productive veteran whose consistency on the court has benefited the team over the past month. She has won four of her last six singles matches, and is optimistic about carrying her momentum into SU’s (4-11, 4-6 ACC) upcoming road trip this weekend against Clemson (17-4, 9-1) and Georgia Tech (9-7, 6-4).She credits two factors for her improved play this season. First, a healthy wrist that hampered her in her previous two seasons. And second, resilient teammates that have fueled her passion for the game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“This 2014 team has proved that we can win big matches and it gives me encouragement to know that everyone is fighting,” Safdar said. Her key is to not become overzealous when something goes her way, or falter when she doesn’t earn a match point. It’s a rare sight to see a shift in Safdar’s body language while competing on game day. Whether battling in a tight match or observing her teammates’ matches from the sidelines, she won’t be fazed by the highs and lows that occur during a match.It’s crucial for Safdar to set an example for her teammates by always keeping a positive mind-set when competing on the court.It’s an attitude that impresses Syracuse interim head coach Shelley George.“She’s just mentally tough,” George said. “She’s one of the strongest players on the court and leads the team through her actions.”Senior Maddie Kobelt has noticed how Safdar elevated her play following the season-ending injury to senior Aleah Marrow. Safdar’s ability to step up and win close matches against highly touted opponents is a testament to her growth in her third season with the team. Kobelt believes that Safdar’s success is a result of the effort she provides on a daily basis.“Komal has been great for us this season,” Kobelt said in an email. “Her success on the court just shows how hard she works in practice and how determined she is to find a way to win.”Safdar said the team’s character will be tested when it travels to play two road matches this weekend. After losing to unranked Maryland on Sunday, the Orange looks to build confidence over the final two weeks of the regular season.If she continues to be an effective contributor for Syracuse, then the Orange is capable of competing at a high level against Clemson and Georgia Tech. Safdar plans to play with the same attitude that has led her to success over the past month.Said Safdar: “My focus is to stay positive both mentally and with my body language, along with being the best competitor out there. Once one person plays this way, whoever it is, the energy diffuses to the other courts to create the fighting aura we carry around with us.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more