Curated by RSF Research Staff
Hyperloop startup says superfast rail a reality
The near-supersonic rail system known as hyperloop has passed another key milestone on its path to become reality, the US startup Hyperloop One said Wednesday.
Hyperloop One, which is developing a system theorized by entrepreneur Elon Musk, said that a test last week of a full hyperloop system at its private facility in the desert near Las Vegas was a success, hitting record speeds.
"That's a huge milestone for us," said Hyperloop One co-founder and executive chairman Shervin Pishevar.
"Now we've shown that the hyperloop actually works. And now this is the dawn of the commercialization of the hyperloop. So from this point on we move to the commercialization process."
During what the startup referred to as Phase 2 testing, a pod fired through a tube depressurized to the equivalent of 200,000 feet (60,000 meters) above sea level reached an unprecedented speed of 192 mph (310 kilometers per hour).
All components were successfully tested, including motors, controls, the vacuum system, and the magnetic levitation that lets pods zip along tracks without touching them, the company said.
"We've proven that our technology works, and we're now ready to enter into discussions with partners, customers and governments around the world about the full commercialization of our Hyperloop technology," said chief executive Rob Lloyd.
Hyperloop One had originally promised a full-scale demonstration by the end of 2016, after a successful test of the propulsion system.
Pishevar said Wednesday that he now sees the system "getting operational in the new few years."
Hyperloop One engineering chief Josh Giegel said the company is now starting "production level development—how we take this prototype and actually scale it to making hundreds or thousands of units and then actually deploying that around the world."