It's the moment we've all been waiting for: Hyperloop One has finally completed its first full systems test.
Hyperloop One was created as an answer to a challenge from Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who wrote a white paper envisioning a mode of transportation that would send pods at speeds greater than 700mph using a low-friction environment and levitation using air bearings. This means that the test pod was basically traveling in conditions similar to an aircraft flying at around 200,000 feet in the air, where the lack of air resistance allows for much higher travel speeds.
"Hyperloop One has accomplished what no one has done before by successfully testing the first full scale Hyperloop system", said Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Hyperloop One. For the first time in over 100 years, a new mode of transportation has been introduced. Since the May test, Hyperloop has built out 10 times as much motor, it says, bringing propulsion capabilities to about 1,000 feet of track. The company said it was able to send its vehicle across a track for 5.3 seconds using magnetic levitation, at almost 2G of acceleration, and reaching 70 miles per hour, on a test on May 12th. By the time the test took place, the team had reduced the pressure inside the test tube to around five pascals, which it says made it the fourth-largest vacuum chamber in the world and the largest in private hands.
And Hyperloop One does seem to be making some solid progress. The next phase of testing, Verge reports, aims to reach speeds of 250 m.p.h.
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Musk's pledge to bring battery storage to South Australia thrust him into the middle of a messy political spat over energy policy. Tesla's mettle at handling huge volumes will be tested with the Model 3 as the total production previous year was just 87,000.
Hyperloop One also circulated a number of pictures today of a new prototype pod that uses a "proprietary linear electric motor" and "achieves autonomous high-speed propulsion and levitation in a controlled low-pressure environment".
In addition to reaching higher speeds, Hyperloop One has many other technical questions to address. The next phase of testing will showcase the Pod gliding along a longer track at faster speeds.
No windows, because you'll be riding in a vacuum tube where there's nothing to see.
The Hyperloop XP-1, which will be used to simulate transporting passengers and cargo through Hyperloop. Many possible Hyperloop connections have been proposed around the world.