Hyperloop has been lauded as the future of transportation by many people, including good ol' Elon Musk, but it's also had its fair share of sceptics. Well those sceptics can now go to hell, because Hyperloop One just successfully tested its XP-1 passenger pod.
Hyperloop One is the company not affiliated with Musk, but it did announce a successful test of its technology a few weeks ago. That test, which took place in May, only involved a simple sled that accelerated to 70mph. This time, however, it was with a proper passenger-suitable vehicle, and reached a whopping 192mph over 300 metres. That makes it higher than high-speed rail (which can reach up to 155 mph), but not quite as fast as Japan's bullet train which hits 200mph.
Hyperloop One's plan is to eventually reach a ridiculous 750mph, but considering the DevLoop test track is only 500 metres long that's going to be a tough sell. That being said, it's clear that the technology does work and any progress being made is always good. The company has set out its plan to develop Hyperloop into a workable concept, and this latest test is the end of phase 2 - which was intended to show that the Hyperloop concept could be made a reality.
I say job well done.
Despite the success, Hyperloop One co-founder Josh Giegel says he has no plans to extend the length of the DevLoop track. Instead future testing will be carried out in countries that have expressed interest in hosting a Hyperloop track, which Engadget speculates is so that any test tracks can be extended into full-scale city-linking lines.
Next on the agenda for the company is working out how to effectively mass-produce the XP-1 motor, which Giegel claims is one of the most efficient motors ever built. The company's Nevada Metalworks facility has already produced 500 for testing. The company will also be moving onto phase 3 of its plan, which will focus on more practical issues rather than increasing the speed. One of those issues involves working out an airlock system to let pods enter and exit Hyperloops vacuum tunnel without leaking.
Hopefully this means we're one step closer to ditching the trains, or at the very least developing a much more efficient way to transport our stuff across the plant. [Engadget]