This transit system could carry passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.
Technological badass, innovator, and die-hard patriot Elon Musk just won’t quit until he delivers the future today. Thanks to the help of a young transportation startup, Hyperloop One, he’s now poised to help revolutionize another industry. C’mon Musk, you already helped bring high-end luxury cars to kids. Leave some innovation for the rest of us, would ya?
Back in 2013, Musk published a 76-page paper detailing a technology he dubbed “Hyperloop.” He made the paper open source and encouraged anyone to try and take Hyperloop from concept to reality. You can read the full report here. For anyone not interested in reading a small novel’s worth of engineering jargon and design specs, I’m no Musk, but I’ll do my best to break it down.
An air hockey table and a monorail walk into a bar. After a few drinks, if they decide to head back to the monorail’s place for a little action, the resulting lovechild would look something like Hyperloop.
Hyperloop is a levitating, above-ground pod encased in a low-pressure tube, which enables it to not only travel faster than conventional bullet trains, but also makes it totally weatherproof.
According to Musk’s specs, Hyperloop should be able to travel at speeds up to 760 mph. In comparison, a traditional airliner travels at top speeds of 500–600 mph. Man, don’t you love it when science helps us go faster? Me, too.
Remember that startup Hyperloop One, though? After taking Musk’s design, running with it, and rounding up a cool $80 million in series B funding, they just conducted their first public test of the technology.
World's first hyperloop propulsion testpic.twitter.com/nbgJKHTvw9
While it’s just an early demonstration (that plume at the end of the video is the train blowing into a sand barrier, so the design doesn’t yet include brakes), the pod accelerated from 0–60 in just one second and generated 2.5 Gs of force, results that the Hyperloop One team was more than happy with.
Josh Geigel, the Senior VP of Engineering at Hyperloop One, told Mashable, “If this works the way we predicted it does, then we will take this design and move it inside the tube later this year.”
And there goes the first Hyperloop testpic.twitter.com/44JObzfkno
There’s still no projected date for rollout but, according to the Verge, Hyperloop One says it plans to conduct a “full system test” later this year. At least for now, the Twitterverse seems pleased with the early results.
The Hyperloop One test track, north of Vegas. First open-air propulsion test coming shortly. @FastCompanypic.twitter.com/ZW2X1zVhgZ