The Hyperloop pod didn’t achieve anything like the 750mph its inventors one day hope to reach, however. It clocked a mere 70mph on May 12 at the company’s Nevada desert test facility. Importantly for the company, though, the systems didn’t fail, so it’s a step in the right direction.
Introducing the world’s only vehicle that achieves autonomous high-speed propulsion and levitation in a vacuum environment: our pod! pic.twitter.com/f65gD1asu5
— HyperloopOne (@HyperloopOne) July 12, 2017
The pod uses electromagnetic propulsion and magnetic levitation (mag-lev) technology which it one day hopes will to propel people from Los Angeles to San Diego in less than 13 minutes.
“Ever since we started the company three years ago, we’ve been aimed at this moment, the instant when we achieve controlled propulsion and levitation of a Hyperloop One vehicle in a vacuum environment,” Hyperloop co-founders Josh Giegel and Shervin Pishevar wrote in a press release.
— RT (@RT_com) June 17, 2017
The duo referred to the successful test as the company’s “Kitty Hawk” moment, referencing the first ever test of an airplane flown by the Wright brothers over a century ago in 1903.
“The debut of the first new mode of transportation since the Wright Brothers flew over the dunes near Kitty Hawk, N.C., on a chilly morning in December 1903. Back then, only a few locals bore witness to the moment. It would be five more years before the public got to see a Wright flyer. We’re not about to wait that long. We’re sharing our Kitty Hawk moment today,” they continued.
Giegal and Pishevar, along with their team, are now preparing for a complete systems test, during which they hope the pod will reach speeds of 250mph.
In April, Hyperloop One unveiled 11 potential routes being considered for their high-speed transport system in the US. Routes in Canada, Australia, India, China, South Africa, Mexico, South Korea, Israel and Argentina are also being considered.
All potential routes will be assessed by an international panel of judges to determine the first Hyperloop routes on Earth.