Human factors and culture of a highspeed hyperloop system focused on the pod.

Human factors and culture

Human Factors and culture is important to be considered in the Hyper loop system as this complex
involves human lives onboard and therefore critical to be considered for a safety design. There are
several traits and environmental factors that vary by culture and influence the risk and safety perception. Human factors and culture plays crucial roles in processing safety and creating an organisation’s
safety culture.

Health Hazards for Passengers

In this sections, the humans involved in that system will be analysed. Withing the stakeholders, the
Passengers, Workers and the Operator of that system are the more involved with the system. Next
step is to define possible dangers that those group of people could be involved in. By first stating
possible hazards involving the passengers, then the workers and lastly the cultural, governmental and
political hazards influence the company/organisation owning the system.
In figure 3 passengers are split into 2 possible hazards such as the systems dynamics which involves
dangers related within the pod motion such as extreme accelerations, turbulence. Lastly, the other
type of hazard involves about the onboard travel safety revolving around the seats, the breathable air
and temperature monitoring and finally the emergency evacuation in case of a possible accident. The
possible risks that the passengers will endure have been discussed.

Health Hazards for Workers

Now the workers of the system will be analysed. They maintain and work on the system in
order to keep it operational. The hazards have been categorised into 2 scenarios which the first is on
the spot accidents and the second one being long term accidents for instance from Radiation caused
by the emitted electromagnetic field by the magnets. Those accidents are not significant however
for a long period of time they may be important to be considered. Radiation poses the most threat
as the hyper loop is directly associated with Magnet for Propulsion, Braking, and Levitation it is
therefore important to reduce the amount of radiation that the workers will endure while maintaining
the system such as by detecting higher than human rated radiation levels and therefore requiring in
turning off the entire power of the section tube being maintained [9].
Accidents on the spot could also happen but which more or less are accidents that could happen
to anywhere else such as factories with heavy machinery. It is therefore crucial to implement workers
with high experience with working under those conditions and having a good knowledge about how
to operate those machines as well as insist the workers with an evacuation and Tunnel environment
safety course specifically for the hyper loop situation in order to ensure that the workers know the
safety protocols. Table 4 analyses in greater level worker’s hazards as well as recommendations to
prevent those effects from happening.

Health Hazards for Operational Organisation

The organisation which operates the hyper loop is also very important in order to finance and keep
supporting this giant project. Table 5 explains that the Government, the region, the locals and the
world wide response are key influences of this system and could oppose many important hazards. For
instance a political state of a country such the example of the 2008 elected president of the united
states who cancelled the Constellation NASA program which was a transportation System to Mars,
was reinstalled in 2018 after President Trump was re elected however revised again by President Biden
in 2022 [11]. That cased an almost 10 year delay and a devastating over budget of 15 billion dollars [12].

The hyper loop project therefore requires a strong economy to support this project and most importantly a constant political ideology in order to not cancel and delay the program depending on
the presidential elections. However, natural disasters happen to be a key hazard about considering
where to install this system geographically as the high risk regions [13] could damage the long hyper
loop infrastructure and possibly contaminate the local regions such as what happened with the 2012
tsunami where factories and train routes got destroyed and polluted the region [14].
Finally, there is a strong opposition against this system as it is a giant but also engineering
”overkill” project and ”mammoth” in terms of budget for a transportation mean. There needs to
be a very good argument to implement this transportation mean, as planes and long distance trains
already cover this need but in longer travel time. The hyper loop could however be at the end cheaper
to operate as it uses electricity as its main source which is very efficient and a cheap energy and is
very environment friendly, sustainable and quick which could offer comfort to the passengers as well
as mechanical simplicity for the workers and low noise.

Looking at actual close situations such as the example of a levitation train system ”Maglev’ it has
been introduced in japan as a technology demonstrator which however has been very expensive [15]
but is an outgrowth of the scientific community. Therefore the hyper loop may present a challenge
in lacking for market opportunities and making other transportation means more convenient in terms
of ticket price for the passengers. This system would cost around 2.7 billion euros to make 1.1.2, to
transport 25 to 40 passengers [16]. The current trains operating that route by NS take an average
time of 30 minutes and cost around 15 euros to transport around 400 people[17].

It can be seen that the NS train is much more profitable and even tho the hyper loop could possibly
make this short journey in 5 minutes, it would cover a very small market from all the passengers and
therefore risking on making this project very expensive and maybe not profitable but rather than
a technology demonstrator such as Concorde [18] which although very quick, proved to be a very
expensive project which never broke event and got cancelled. Nowadays, the industrial sectors are
implementing that technology such as the hyper sonic jet ”NASA X-59” [19] and other companies such
as Boom company [20]. Those organisations and companies redesigned the system around Concorde
to make it much more affordable in terms of fuel efficiency and materials used for a potential market
entrance in 2025.


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[19] NASA. Ames’ contributions to the x-59 quiet supersonic technology aircraft. 2022.