The world may be on the cusp of a transport revolution if you believe the predictions by billionaire Elon Musk, and he's putting his money where his mouth is.
His company SpaceX is creating a world's first Hyperloop -- a train-style network that lets carriages travel at the speed of sound using magnetic levitation in a tube akin to a vacuum with some fancy motors (called linear induction, if you're interested).
What's Australia got to do with this grand plan? Well other than being a prime location for a trial (Sydney to Melbourne is the fourth busiest air route in the world), a team from RMIT in Melbourne is receiving accolades for designing a braking system.
When you're travelling at the speed of sound, the brakes are important.
The interdisciplinary team entered Elon Musk's SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition to design a pod or carriage for the Hyperloop and out of 1700 entries, they won the subcategory for their brakes, and are the only team in the southern hemisphere to make it to the final 30.
Now the team is going to build a pod replica and project leader Zak McClelland said it was not pie-in-the-sky stuff.
"Imagine living in Melbourne and working in Sydney with only a 50-minute commute, or travelling to regional Australia within minutes," McClelland said.
"We are making it a reality."
Infrastructure Association of Queensland chief executive Steve Abson said Australia needed Hyperloop.
"As our Australian cities continuously urbanise and develop, we face the problem of increasing our connectivity," Abson said.
"With vast lands and long distances between our major cities, we must look for new and innovative means to connect us. Hyperloop could provide this solution."
Bring on the future.Suggest a correction