The company bringing Elon Musk’s transport dream to reality, Hyperloop One, has announced the first successful, full-scale test of the new mode of transport.
Hyperloop One originally intended on building a 1-mile long tube to validate the technology but instead stopped short at 500 meters. Nevertheless, it claims to have achieved a full vacuum in the tube with its test vehicle floating above the track for 5.3 seconds thanks to magnetic levitation. It also reached nearly 2Gs of acceleration and hit 70 mph.
Alongside the announcement of the test run, Hyperloop One has released images the full-scale XP-1 pod it will use in future tests and attempt to hit speeds of around 250 mph.
In a statement, co-founder and executive chairman of Hyperloop One Shervin Pishevar said “Hyperloop One has accomplished what no one has done before by successfully testing the first full scale Hyperloop system. By achieving full vacuum, we essentially invented our own sky in a tube, as if you’re flying at 200,000 feet in the air. For the first time in over 100 years, a new mode of transportation has been introduced. Hyperloop is real, and it’s here now.”
Despite reaching this milestone, the Hyperloop is still far from the ultimate goal of transporting people at speeds of up to 700 mph. Many have suggested that doing so safely and effectively over a long track will prove impossible, particularly due to how much the tube will flex, expand and shrink in different conditions.
Late last year, it emerged that the first real-world use of the Hyperloop could be through a system in Dubai designed to carry cargo both underwater and above ground.