Elon Musk’s company held a public track run of prototype that might one deliver commuters fromÂ Francisco toÂ Los Angeles and vice versa in a supersonic pod.
Hyperloop OneÂ carried outÂ the first public demonstration of its propulsion system on Wednesday, with a unmanned sled hitting 116 mph in just 1.1 seconds on a short stretch of track outside of Las Vegas.
Actually, Musk and his team hope that the novelty will be capable of reachingÂ speeds of more than 700 mph.
“When â€“ and very much if â€“ completed, the Hyperloop would work by propelling pods at high speeds through a tube, which in theory would be able to make the journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just 30 minutes,” The Guardian writes.
“The Nevada test, in which a sled accelerated to 116 mph (187km/h) in 1.1 seconds, represents a very early proof of concept; there are a vast number of hurdles that the developers of Hyperloop still have to clear if the technology is to become a reality,” the publication adds.
ThisÂ demonstration focused on only one piece of a very challenging design, and was run on traditional rail tracks rather than in semi-vacuum tube to reduce air resistance.
“This is about validating the hardware and software,” said Hyperloop One cofounder and chief technology officer Brogan BamBrogan.
“By the end of the year hopefully we’ll have a full test, with the sled in a tube accelerating with our custom propulsion.”
The sled bracketed to the rail was slung into motion using magnetic force generated by engines referred to as ‘stators’ set in a line at the start of the track.
The sled, which will evolve into a chassis of sorts for a pod, will accelerate to more than 400mph in a few seconds, BamBrogan claims.
“This is a significant moment for us as a team,” Hyperloop co-founder Shervin Pishevar said to aÂ crowd seated in grandstand seats set up opposite the length of electrified track.
“We are standing on hallowed ground for us; the team has worked incredibly hard to get to what we call our Kitty Hawk preview.”
“The goal of this test isn’t just to move this sled,”Â he added. “It is to engineer an acceleration system that is scalable for passengers and freight and to bring the cost down.”
“Today, we are one step closer to making Hyperloop real,” said the start-up’s chief executive Rob Lloyd. “We will be moving cargo in 2019, and we think we will have passengers safely transported by Hyperloop in 2021.”
Hyperloop One has already announced some notableÂ partnerships, including Deutsche Bahn Engineering & Consulting and the British engineering consultancy group Arup, who are currently working on Londonâ€™s Crossrail.
Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One, said in a statement: â€śWe will work alongside these world-class partners to redefine the future of transportation, providing a more immediate, safe, efficient and sustainable high-speed backbone for the movement of people and things.â€ť
â€śHyperloop has the potential to solve many of todayâ€™s most complex long-distance transport issues,â€ť said Gregory Hodkinson, Arup Group chairman, also in a statement.
â€śIf railways helped enable the first industrial revolution, Hyperloop has the potential to do the same for the information economy, overcoming distances and creating connections between people, places, ideas and opportunities.â€ť