Hyperloop is coming, despite my boss insisting it'll never actually happen. While he remains sceptical of such an economically viable system being put into place, Virgin Hyperloop One seems quite confident. So confident that it's released an app for booking a seat on a transport system that doesn't actually exist yet.
It doesn't look like you can download it, but it's being shown off to showcase the fact that VHO is intent on making hyperloop a passenger-carrying service - rather than a faster way to ship cargo across vast distances. Not that cargo shipping would be such a bad thing, seeing as how many lorries there seem to be clogging up the motorways.
The app was built using a software development kit from mapping organisation Here Technologies. That's the same Here Technologies that was founded by Nokia and developed Here Maps for the ill-fated Windows Phone platform. The SDK included mapping data from over 136 countries, public transport information from more than 1,300 cities, as well as 3D maps of indoor locations and venues.
Inside it offers users the chance to book a seat on a hyperloop train, alongside integration with Uber and Lyft to get them to and from the relevant stations. Presumably that's the kind of thing that will be more region specific, seeing as how Uber and Lyft aren't universally available. The end-to-end navigation also includes directions inside hyperloop stations, making sure people know exactly where to go. Sometimes it helps not to be reliant on Google.
The app is due to be released sometime later this year, for reasons I can't quite fathom. Probably to further emphasise that VHO sees this as the real deal, rather than a concept that will go nowhere.
The desert just outside Las Vegas also hosted VHO's third demonstration run, reaching speeds of 240mph. It's a long way off the 700mph figure that's been thrown about, but that's now faster than China's Fuxing bullet trains - the world's fastest bullet trains which are capable of reaching 217mph. The XP-1 used in that testing is currently on display at CES, for anyone actually in Vegas at the moment. [HERE via The Verge]