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The Impact of Hyperloop Technology on Airlines

By Robert Peters

We’ll introduce an example Decision Point query to the Quantum Relations Machine. The topic is referenced as “The Impact of Hyperloop Technology on Airlines” and includes the various filters used to position the user’s contextual interest.

The response to the query is delivered through a series of visualizations that are representative of QRM responses through the Decision Point application.

  • Current Issue

    Design of new transport technologies and solutions

  • Area of Impact

    Airlines; Air Freight & Courier Services; Ground Freight & Logistics

  • Target Purpose

    Competitive Market Analysis

  • Target Audience

    Airlines; Airports

  • App Functions Used

    DPI; Forensic Environment; Geo/Event Analysis; Social Energy

The Hyperloop system is one piece of technology with the potential to be greatly disruptive if developed in key locations linking cities that have a high volume of air traffic.

It has been reported that airlines could lose $1 billion in a years’ worth of air traffic with the implementation of a hyperloop. This estimate assumes that hyperloop technology connecting major cities becomes commercially viable before supersonic alternatives arrive.

Related but less discussed is the impact hyperloop technology may have on the logistic industry, specifically for cargo airlines in the logistics sector.

Insight gained from Decision Point:

  • Hyperloop technology is not an immediate threat to airlines.
  • Hyperloop technology has the potential to disrupt both commercial and cargo airlines.
  • Innovation remains high suggesting the technology has not been abandoned by investors and will come to fruition.
  • The United States and Western Europe are the areas with the highest concentration of interest of Hyperloop technology.
  • The United States is the geographical area most likely to be affected by the technology first.

The following Decision Point Indicator is for the linguistic element “Hyperloop” and covers the six-month period leading to the 10/10/2018.

The six-month time range highlights a significant peak at the end of April 2018. Other than this, the data on ‘Hyperloop’ is infrequent and low volume suggesting significant developments in the technology have not been made over the past year.

However, supporting data from the 29th April 2018 peak reveals a development in the application of hyperloop technology that previously received little attention – the use of hyperloop for the transport of cargo rather than passengers. This might suggest the immediate threat is not to commercial passenger airlines but to cargo airlines.

Although, passenger airlines are also at risk of increased competition. Supporting data from the 16th May 2018 reveals Virgin Hyperloop aim to offer travel across India at costs lower than flight tickets.

The Hyperloop DPI reveals potential disruption to the cargo industry. Specifically, it has highlighted the importance of Virgin Hyperloop and DP World to this potential disruption, the cooperation between these two firms stands out as a market and innovation leader.


A Science and Technology: Hyperloop A Causations: Development
B Concept: Transport – Association Include: Cargo B Causations: Innovation
C Groups Organizations: DP World C Causations: Investment
D Groups Organizations: Virgin Hyperloop n/a


This provides the basis for further research with the Forensic Environment.

The infrequency of data suggests the development and innovation of new hyperloop technology and advancements in current projects is limited. Further the development is still at early stages given the This is good news for potentially affected airlines, suggesting development is slow and therefore disruption to the airline market is currently at a low level.

Another way to explore the developments in Hyperloop technology is to utilise the Disruptive Technology Momentum tool.

The following uses the linguistic element HYPERLOOP.

The data again suggests development of the technology is limited, there is a high degree of low confidence in the technology with a limited push to market drive. This suggests that despite the significant number of causations relating to Hyperloop technology, particularly for cargo transport, the implementation of such designs is not likely to be immediately disruptive.

However, there is a significant amount of data in the “defining application” and “Innovation” zones, signifying the growing potential of the technology.

It is still unknown where in the world hyperloop technology is likely to be most disruptive. The DPI indicated India may be a region of concern for market disruption. The Geo/Event Analysis tool can provide insight into this area of concern.

A simple search for ‘Hyperloop’ over the course of 2018 reveals that interest in Hyperloop technology is predominantly concentrated within the United States, while western Europe is another significant region of interest. This highlights the air routes most under threat from developments in Hyperloop technology.

The supporting data from the pin located in Los Angeles on the map above contains a significant amount of supporting data. In Particular it suggests Chicago and los Angeles are hubs of activity for hyperloop development, likely indicating the first places to implement the technology.

Despite information from the “Hyperloop” DPI above suggesting India may be a target area it seems the more immediate target regions are based in North America and Western Europe. These are areas with a high concentration of interest in the technology and the financial means to invest in and implement the technology.