A hyperloop is a super-fast, super-high-tech medium-distance transport method proposed by billionaire science boffin Elon Musk -- kind of like a tram on some serious steroids. There's a SpaceX competition underway to find the best design, but some private companies and countries are forging ahead with their own agreements; apparently Slovakia wants to build a hyperloop.
That's the inside word from startup Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, which says it has signed an agreement with the Slovakian government to investigate the creation of a hyperloop network originating in Bratislava, the nation's capital, connecting it with nearby cities like Vienna in Austria and Budapest in Hungary.
Since Europe is relatively densely populated, the time and distance between major population centres is small; a Bratislava to Vienna hyperloop trip would take only eight minutes, and Bratislava to Budapest would be only 10 minutes. The entire nation of Slovakia could be connected from east to west with a 25-minute trip.
The hyperloop, still in its theoretical phases of development, uses a sealed tube with almost zero air inside. Operating near a vacuum, the hyperloop has no air to cause turbulence or friction to the passenger capsule inside, which can be accelerated to 1200-plus kilometres per hour; almost every company that has proposed a hyperloop has claimed it could be constructed and powered by renewable resources.