Hyperloop One, one of three companies trying to make Hyperloop a reality, says it has performed the latest and fastest test of one of the high-speed pods yet.
Yesterday, they revealed they had sent a magnetically levitating pod down a 500-meter (1,640 feet) tube at a speed of 310 kilometers per hour (192 miles per hour). This Phase 2 test in the Nevada desert on the “DevLoop” track was considerably faster than their Phase 1 test in July, which reached speeds of 111 km/h (69 mph).
Ultimately, Hyperloop is designed to transport passengers in pods inside vacuum-sucked tubes at speeds of more than 1,040 km/h (650 mph). This latest test therefore represents a pretty significant step in that direction, although there’s still a lot to do.
"This is the beginning, and the dawn of a new era of transportation," said Shervin Pishevar, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Hyperloop One, in a statement.
"We've reached historic speeds of 310 kilometers an hour, and we're excited to finally show the world the XP-1 going into the Hyperloop One tube. When you hear the sound of the Hyperloop One, you hear the sound of the future."
In this test, the pod – the design of which was also unveiled during the Phase 1 test in July – accelerated for about 300 meters (1,000 feet). It glided the rest of the distance before braking and stopping. The tube had been depressurized down to the equivalent of being 60,000 meters (200,000 feet) above sea level.
Hyperloop One is, of course, not the only company developing this technology. First thought up by some inventor chap you might have heard of called Elon Musk in 2012, three companies are now pioneering its development. The others are Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) and Musk’s own SpaceX.
There have been quite a few announcements about the benefits of Hyperloop. These include the various travel times it could achieve between cities across Europa, Asia, and the US. Quite a few governments have signed tentative deals with a Hyperloop company to investigate the technology.
But it’s good to actually see some solid, hard testing taking place. Whether it’ll ever live up to its promise, well, who knows. But it certainly looks pretty cool. And it works! Hooray.