That Elon Musk. One day he’s successfully launching and landing rockets remotely for his SpaceX project, and then the next week, the first propulsion test of his dream Hyperloop One blasts off on a test track in the Nevada desert, north of Las Vegas.
Yup, Hyperloop One is that amazing project we told you about, a “high-speed ground transport system that could travel between LA and San Francisco in less then 20 minutes. The concept, dubbed ‘Hyperloop,’ is a series of maglev [magnetic levitation]-powered pneumatic tubes that could propel passengers in capsules at speeds upwards of 800 miles per hour.” Yeah, that.
In Wednesday’s five-second test, Hyperloop One hit a speed of 120 mph in 1.5 seconds, and accelerated to 300 mph before blasting into the sand bank that was there to stop it. Per Wired: “This is the first successful use of a custom-made, full-scale hyperloop component.” Boom. THE FUTURE IS NOW! Per the CNN video above, the next test will be conducted after building a 1.5 km enclosed track with tubes (this test was in the open air), and the levitation technology will be tested after.
Of course, everyone asks, “When will I travel at 700 mph in pods?!” For now, 2020 is mentioned as a possible target by CEO of Hyperloop One, Rob Lloyd. There are a lot of things to figure out, including how to build the tubes the pods will travel in, that ever-important vacuum seal, and how to build it all cost-effectively. There are other companies competing to launch hyperloop technology first, like Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, currently working with the Slovakian government. Heck, New York was dreaming of traveling in pneumatic tubes in the 1870s.
One can’t help but get excited imagining the end of gas-dependent semi trucks loaded with cargo, and saying farewell to time-consuming airplane travel for short distances. The future of travel and transport is happening fast. So fast. Whoosh.