We may need to add a “cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table” to our list of ground transportation options soon, because the Hyperloop — Elon Musk’s dream for a new way of getting people from A to B at theoretical speeds of up to 750 mph — has just nailed its first proof-of-concept test.
Gizmodo reported on the test, which took place out in the Nevada desert, and is shown in the above video. It was conducted by a startup named Hyperloop One, and was mainly focused on testing the electromagnetic propulsion technology that will be used to move the Hyperloop’s sled component on the loop’s tracks. Tubing for the sled and tracks, which will ultimately allow for a vacuum through which the sled can travel, was absent from the test — although even in open-air the sled could still hit 300 mph.
Musk first promoted the concept for the Hyperloop in 2013, and now three short years later Hyperloop One — a private startup that announced its plans to develop a route between L.A. and San Francisco in 2015 — has taken up the mantle and begun with design and testing. And even though it’s a relatively new startup, the company, which was founded by Uber investor Shervin Pishevar and former SpaceX engineer Brogan BamBrogan, has already collected over $100 million in funding.
Other companies want in on the zippy-tube (possible alt. name?) action as well. Musk hasn’t patented the idea (it wasn’t even his to begin with), which is why Hyperloop One not only tested a proof of concept today, but also changed its name. The company was formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies, but needed to better differentiate itself from competitor Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT). HTT also plans on building a Hyperloop (with a different propulsion system).
Hyperloop One’s CEO, Rob Lloyd, has said that the ultimate goal for the Hyperloop is to “redefine the future of transportation, providing a more immediate, safe, efficient and sustainable high-speed backbone for the movement of people and things.” And with a possible top speed of around the speed of sound, hopefully the lines to take a ride on it won’t be too long either.
What do you think about this Hyperloop proof of concept? Gives us your own personal scoop on the ‘loop in the comments below!
Images: Hyperloop One