By now, you have probably heard of Billionaire Elon Musk’s plan to create a vacuum tube transportation method, but that reality may be coming very soon. There are currently 2 companies fighting to create a viable prototype for the hyperloop, and Hyperloop One, formerly Hyperloop Technologies, has just completed their first testing. Musk created the idea and open sourced it to any developer that could make it happen. Much of the research around the idea has been to determine if creating a functioning, scalable, hyperloop is even possible given present technology. Hyperloop One has been teasing the public with rumors of demonstrations in recent months, and they just released video of their first propulsion test.
— HyperloopOne (@HyperloopOne) May 11, 2016
Musk’s original idea behind the hyperloop was to levitate the pods inside the tubes using jets of air and powered by solar cells, but both companies are veering slightly from his original ideas. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) have patented a passive magnetic lifting mechanism to levitate the pods, as they believe this will be the most effective method. Hyperloop One, who is giving demonstrations tonight, has chosen to allow their system to run on any sort of power so that the function is not dependent on weather like solar cells are.
Hyperloop One has been developing their technologies in the middle of the Nevada Desert, right outside of Las Vegas. The company has already tested a 2000 feet long length of test track, and they claim they are on course to test a sled traveling at over 400 mph very soon, and they plan on breaking the 700 mph mark later this year according to Vocativ.
[Image Source: Hyperloop One]
There are, of course, a lot of people who claim that implementing a fully functioning hyperloop across the country would be too expensive, and an effective route would be impossible. However, Hyperloop One has received over US$100 million in investments to realize their technology, so obviously there are quite a few people who want to see this technology come to fruition.