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.”
– Likely born abroad -The hyperloop system is designed to send pods carrying cargo or people through low-pressure tubes for long distances at passenger jet speeds.
Hyperloop One early this year disclosed a list of locations around the world vying to put near-supersonic rail transit system to the test.
Viable submissions had to be condoned by government agencies that would likely be involved in regulating and, ideally, funding the futuristic rail.
It was expected to be several years before a hyperloop system was up and running. The startup set a goal of having one running by 2021.
Pishevar told AFP he expected the first hyperloop system to be built outside the US because “the speed at which other governments work” could be an advantage.
Hyperloop One, which has raised more than $160 million, was set on an idea laid out by billionaire Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind electric car company Tesla and private space exploration endeavor SpaceX.
Pods would rocket along rails through reduced-pressure tubes at speeds of 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) per hour.
Hyperloop One says the system offers better safety than passenger jets, lower build and maintenance costs than high-speed trains, and energy usage, per person, that is similar to a bicycle.
Port colossus DP World Group of Dubai last year invested in the concept, joining backers including French national rail company SNCF, US industrial conglomerate General Electric and Russian state fund RDIF.
Musk’s involvement in hyperloop is for now limited to potentially building the tunnels with his latest startup — The Boring Company.
Tunneling is certainly an option, but building hyperloop tubes above ground, perhaps where traditional rail lines already exist, would be faster and cheaper, according to Hyperloop One executives.
Several companies are now exploring the market, including Northeast Maglev, Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.
Musk said last month he’d received tentative approval from the government to build a conceptual “hyperloop” system that would blast passenger pods down vacuum-sealed tubes from New York to Washington but stopped short of offering details. DM
In other news...
South Africa is in a very real battle. A political fight where terms such as truth and democracy can seem more of a suggestion as opposed to a necessity.
On one side of the battle are those openly willing to undermine the sovereignty of a democratic society, completely disregarding the weight and power of the oaths declared when they took office. If their mission was to decrease society’s trust in government - mission accomplished.
And on the other side are those who believe in the ethos of a country whose constitution was once declared the most progressive in the world. The hope that truth, justice and accountability in politics, business and society is not simply fairy tale dust sprinkled in great electoral speeches; but rather a cause that needs to be intentionally acted upon every day.
However, it would be an offensive oversight not to acknowledge that right there on the front lines, alongside whistleblowers and civil society, stand the journalists. Armed with only their determination to inform society and defend the truth, caught in the crossfire of shots fired from both sides.
If you believe in supporting the cause and the work of Daily Maverick then take your position on the battleground and sign up to Maverick Insider today.
For whatever amount you choose, you can support Daily Maverick and it only takes a minute.
Burger King is called "Hungry Jack's" in Australia. This is due to one restaurant in Adelaide having already claimed the named Burger King.