On Wednesday, Hyperloop One revealed they had completed the first full-scale system test of the new transportation method on May 12. The landmark achievement happened in a controlled vacuum environment, where the Hyperloop pod reached 70 mph for 5 seconds.
The company also shared with the world the first images of their proprietary pod, a 28-feet long aluminum and carbon fiber vehicle that will, one day, levitate through the length of the DevLoop track at speeds of 700 mph.
Hyperloop One has still many milestones to reach, but this one is of particular importance because it represents the first step in a series of rapidly-advancing steps before the system becomes real.
Hyperloop One’s next goal: 250 mph
The first full-scale system test of Hyperloop One’s take on Elon Musk’s concept for a new transportation system took place in the DevLoop, a Nevada test track that measures 500 meters long and went operational this April.
In spite of the transit system’s focus on speed efficiency, this first test was not about breaking records but proving functionality. The conditions for the vehicle to travel at “near supersonic speeds” require a vacuum-like environment in which there is almost no air so that the vehicle can glide using magnetic levitation.
Electromagnetic propulsion also plays a role in the proof-of-concept system, providing the thrust necessary to take the pod to its theoretical speeds. For the second full-scale test run, Hyperloop One is aiming at 250 mph as a speed goal.
That test will happen in the next few months, and we will most likely hear about it months after everything has been proven to work. The conditions will be different, featuring an expanded test track, higher speeds, and the ultimate purpose of validating their next-gen software and components.
The first Hyperloop could debut abroad and not in the U.S.
H1’s remarkable feat looks insignificant when compared to the road ahead towards full implementation. The end of that path might not be in the United States, as the company has eyed potential routes in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East that look more feasible than the possible locations in America.
One route from Helsinki to Stockholm was one of the firsts to show true potential, with the whole ride estimated to last around 30 minutes. Another track in the United Arab Emirates could one day take passengers and cargo from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes.
Recently, South Korea showed interest in the technology, and reportedly plans to fast-track its development to take people from the capital of Seoul to Busan in just half an hour. However, a deal was made with H1’s competitor Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.
In the U.S., the city of Los Angeles recently gave permission to Elon Musk’s Boring Company to start digging a tunnel that could potentially host a Hyperloop track. Mayor Eric Garcetti has named the transportation system as a promising solution to the city’s traffic.
Source: Hyperloop One