Could highspeed vacuum tube trains truly enable daily intercity travel?

Hyundai Ventures: The Loop

Inspired by Elon Musk’s Hyperloop whitepaper that explored the potential of highspeed train travel, Sundberg-Ferar worked with Hyundai Ventures on a research and design project looking at the future of mobility and mass-transit. The team performed a deep engineering analysis of the proposed hyperloop system and developed a new strategy combining ideal user experiences with feasible technologies that delivers a solution considering all aspects of a user’s travel experience.

To complement the engineering study, the team also studied today’s current modes of transportation by traveling back and forth from L.A. to San Francisco via cars, trains, and planes.

Wearing sensors, GPS trackers and cameras, the team recorded every aspect of true door-to-door travel, and used this to map out the current state of transit. The team then modeled potential futures paradigms, inserting potential resources like a high-speed train or fully autonomous cars into the equation to compare with today’s current models and map out future ideals.

Hyundai Ventures: The Loop

An ideal future intercity mobility model would provide higher efficiency than our current terminal-to-terminal systems along with extensive last mile options with flexibility and affordability.

Hyundai Ventures: The Loop

Human Impact

Inter-city travel must include the entire ‘door-to-door’ experience and all the value equations that users make when considering travel plans.

“How much usable time will I have while I travel to get some work done? Will I get caught outside in bad weather? Will I have to get sweaty walking a mile to the station in August? How many options will I have if I change my mind halfway through the trip to select a new destination?”

With engineering and user-experience data in hand, the team created an ideal future transit system integrating intra-city transit with a revised high speed train design that completes a true inter-city loop and paints a pictures of efficient, user-focused, multi-model travel.

Business Impact

Hyundai Ventures used this project to inform the global Hyundai corporation on future mobility trends and potential areas of design and investment. The Hyundai Rotem division currently makes trains for the global market and is always looking at emerging user needs and technologies to continue being a worldwide leader in mobility.

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