The planned infrastructure project to connect Mumbai to Pune using hyperloop technology could soon become a reality. Ever since Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, proposed the idea of using hyperloop pods as a mode of transportation, many countries around the world have been trying to integrate the technology into their existing infrastructure. In India, Virgin Hyperloop signed a deal with the Maharashtra government to develop a hyperloop corridor from Mumbai to Pune. Passengers would take 25 minutes to commute between the two destinations if the project is successful.

This week, Virgin Hyperloop took a major step in achieving its goals after it held a trial for its hyperloop pods in Nevada.

The first Indian to ride a hyperloop pod

Tanay Manjrekar became the first Indian citizen to ride a hyperloop pod. Manjrekar joined Virgin Hyperloop in 2016, and he has been working to develop hardware technology for the company. The electronics and telecommunications graduate from the University of Pune got a chance to test a hyperloop pod on Tuesday when he participated in test runs at a facility in Las Vegas. Speaking after his first test run, Manjrekar claimed that it was a thrilling experience. He added that he was relieved to finally see his hard work and dedication come to fruition.

He also said that it was the most memorable 15 seconds of his life.

The Mumbai to Pune Hyperloop corridor could create 1.8 million jobs

The exciting hyperloop technology could be a game-changer in the transportation sector in the coming years. Hyperloops are a series of low-pressure tubes that allow automobiles called pods to travel at hypersonic speeds.

After the recent test run, Virgin Hyperloop managing director in India, Harj Dhaliwal, declared that the trial was a significant step forward towards the development of a commercial hyperloop infrastructure in the country. The Mumbai to Pune project is expected to create 1.8 million jobs, and it could generate $36 billion in economic benefits.

For now, Indian citizens should be proud of Manjrekar for his work with Virgin Hyperloop. According to the engineer, the hyperloop pod he used in his first test run traveled 500 meters in 15 seconds. The speed translated to 107 miles per hour, and he jokingly revealed that he was only wearing a t-shirt and a pair of jeans during the trial. Currently, one would take 4-5 hours to travel from Pune to Mumbai, but that could drastically change once the hyperloop project is completed. Manjrekar has urged the Indian government to ensure that the infrastructure development goes on smoothly since the technology will be a huge achievement for the country. While concluding a recent interview, Manjrekar said, “It is my hope that India sees the tremendous opportunity here and continues to progress on the Mumbai-Pune hyperloop.”