1.1.1 Current Modes of Transportation

Course subject(s) Module 1. Basic principles of Hyperloop

Present-day transportation can be grouped into 4 large categories:

  • cars,
  • boats,
  • trains,
  • airplanes.

Let’s first have a look at cars. We see that many people use the car because it is the most flexible mode of transportation. You get in right after you leave your house and you then travel by car all the way to your final destination. The car expels a quite large amount of polluting gases, especially when not occupied to full capacity.

We can also consider boats. These largely have two use cases. First, we have luxury transportation, such as yachts and cruise ships. These have quite high emissions and are of course mostly not made for speed, as people spend their time relaxing instead of only traveling to reach their destination. Secondly, cargo ships can be considered, which are of course polluting and very slow, but also carry a large number of products, thus somewhat compensating their high emissions.

Third, think of trains. These travel quite fast and relatively efficiently, also allowing for more sustainable energy sources, since they often use electricity nowadays. There are however also still quite some trains running on diesel, which are more polluting.

Finally, we’ll have a look at airplanes. These are the fastest mode of transportation available to us, but also one of the most polluting. This type of transportation especially, has very high emissions.

Below there are two graphs that rank our current modes of transportation. The first one shows you how fast our transportation is. The second one shows the efficiency of the transport expressed in the energy required per kilometer per passenger.

Creative Commons License
Hyperloop: changing the Future of Transportation by TU Delft OpenCourseWare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://online-learning.tudelft.nl/courses/hyperloop-changing-the-future-of-transportation/.
Back to top