WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
- The Hyperloop is a train capable of Mach speed and this is the first time its propulsion system will be put through its paces
Hyperloop One, the company behind trying to bring Elon Musk’s fabled Mach 1.0, or 760mph “train in a tube” Hyperloop, to market, and who last week announced the completion “DevLoop,” the world’s first Hyperloop test track in the Nevada desert, have now announced another world first. They’re going to test their first Hyperloop propulsion system this coming Wednesday.
CEO Rob Lloyd also declared that the company had raised $80 million in venture capital from major transportation firms and is in talks with partners from California to Sweden to take the Elon Musk transportation concept from dream to reality by 2020.
“The Hyperloop is real. It’s happening now,” he said.
While the initial test will fall well short of the vision, first posed by Elon Musk in his 2013 paper, of levitating pods travelling at speeds of over 700mph between San Francisco and Los Angeles, it will mark the start of the next chapter for the technology. And no doubt the rulers of Dubai, who last year announced that they will be the first country to roll out an Emirate wide Hyperloop network from 2021, as well as perhaps observers in India where Hyperloop One just popped in a proposal, will be watching.
“The ethos of Hyperloop is really about connecting,” said co-founder and CTO Brogan BamBrogan, “why can’t we reimagine transportation? I think we can. It’s the 21st Century, yo!”
That may seem like a lot of confidence for a company that’s claim to fame looks like a deconstructed monorail, and whose first test run is only going to hit 116mph using a system that has no brakes, but the technology underlying even the propulsion system is unique enough to justify a little bravado. Magnetic attraction to the track will propel the sled forward at rates comparable to top dragsters, and that’s not to be sniffed at.