Urban Transport

Hyperloop One passenger pod rides above the rails in first tube test

Hyperloop One passenger pod ri...
Phase 2 of testing has seen the XP-1 put through its paces at Hyperloop One's 500-meter (1,600 ft) tube in the Nevada desert
Phase 2 of testing has seen the XP-1 put through its paces at Hyperloop One's 500-meter (1,600 ft) tube in the Nevada desert
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Hyperloop One's XP-1 pod enters the tube at the company's test facility 
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Hyperloop One's XP-1 pod enters the tube at the company's test facility 
Hyperloop One is one of a growing contingent of startups vying to make Elon Musk's audacious tube-based transport concept a reality
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Hyperloop One is one of a growing contingent of startups vying to make Elon Musk's audacious tube-based transport concept a reality
Phase 2 of testing has seen the XP-1 put through its paces at Hyperloop One's 500-meter (1,600 ft) tube in the Nevada desert
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Phase 2 of testing has seen the XP-1 put through its paces at Hyperloop One's 500-meter (1,600 ft) tube in the Nevada desert
Hyperloop One says its pod is designed like a Formula One car – to be lightweight but strong
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Hyperloop One says its pod is designed like a Formula One car – to be lightweight but strong
Hyperloop One's XP-1 pod is 8.7 m long, 2.7 m wide and 2.4 m tall (28.5 x 8.9 x 7.9 ft)
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Hyperloop One's XP-1 pod is 8.7 m long, 2.7 m wide and 2.4 m tall (28.5 x 8.9 x 7.9 ft)
Hyperloop One's test track in Nevada, US, is 500 meters long
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Hyperloop One's test track in Nevada, US, is 500 meters long
Hyperloop One's test track in Nevada, US
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Hyperloop One's test track in Nevada, US
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A few weeks back, Hyperloop One revealed a prototype of a pod that it hopes will eventually ferry passengers through near-vacuum tubes at around the speed of sound. Today, the company has announced the first successful tests of this futuristic capsule, in which it levitated above a test track en route to speeds of more than 300 km/h.

Hyperloop One is one of a growing contingent of startups vying to make Elon Musk's tube-based transport concept a reality, with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Arrivo among its competitors. Such a system would see networks of low-pressure tubes shuttle people and cargo around in magnetically levitated pods at around 1,200 km/h, traveling from LA to San Francisco in just 30 minutes.

Today's announcement follows what the company called Phase 1 trials last month, where it tested all of its system components for the first time on a specially built sled. This included things like the motor, vehicle suspension, magnetic levitation technology and vacuum pumping system. The reveal of its prototype pod, the XP-1, accompanied that announcement.

The pod is 8.7 m long, 2.7 m wide and 2.4 m tall (28.5 x 8.9 x 7.9 ft), and features a shell made from carbon fiber panels. The chassis is made from structural aluminum and contains the propulsion system and magnets for levitation and guidance. Hyperloop One says it is designed like a Formula One car – to be lightweight but strong.

Hyperloop One's test track in Nevada, US
Hyperloop One's test track in Nevada, US

And now Phase 2 of testing has seen the XP-1 put through its paces at Hyperloop One's 500-meter (1,600 ft) tube in the Nevada desert. This involved depressurizing the tube to the equivalent of the air at around 200,000 feet (60 km) above sea level, allowing the pod to use magnetic levitation to float above the track and accelerate via electric propulsion over a distance of 300 m (1,000 ft).

"We've reached historic speeds of 310 km (192 miles) an hour, and we're excited to finally show the world the XP-1 going into the Hyperloop One tube," said Shervin Pishevar, co-founder of Hyperloop One. "When you hear the sound of the Hyperloop One, you hear the sound of the future."

The team reports that again, all components of the system aced the testing, such as the electric motor, controls and electronics, custom magnetic levitation and guidance, pod suspension and vacuum system. While it's still a far cry from the slated speeds of a real-world Hyperloop, it is another promising step forward for a company who is already conducting feasibility studies in various countries around the world.

"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 Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd. "We're excited about the prospects and the reception we've received from governments around the world to help solve their mass transportation and infrastructure challenges."

You can check out the XP-1 pod in action in the video below.

Source: Hyperloop One

Virgin Hyperloop One State 2 Testing | 310 kph (190mph)

View gallery - 7 images
11 comments
Bob Flint
An enormous effort, but 1/2 a kilometer of tube with all the apparatus to lower the air resistance is a long ways off from hundreds of kilometers if not thousands of kilometers.
How are the teams dealing with land expropriation, thermal expansion, service & sealing, not to mention ingress & egress during regular runs, and emergence evacuation to name a few issues.
The biggest factor is of course travel cost per kilometer and ROI, they must know this at this point. Almost anything's possible with enough cash and unless they can prove to make money in their lifetime then investment will stop.
Leonard Foster Jr
Nothing really new here MagLev has been around for decades, Now the Cargo aspect may just be a winner Think of that package in the same day.
Racqia Dvorak
To the other commentors, I encourage you to read the Alpha document. Concerns like "thermal expansion, service & sealing, not to mention ingress & egress during regular runs, and emergence evacuation " are all covered, as is ROI and how the Hyperloop significantly differs from Maglev designs.
And it's not super hard to read.
Just look up "hyperloop alpha"
ErstO
travel cost per kilometer..... Thats been my question from day one, how can they move enough people to pay for this thing? .. There are already above ground maglevs in service that can move 200 plus at a time at speeds up to 400km/H .. but the build cost is higher then traditional high speed rail, the Hyberloop would be even more expensive up front, not to mention the higher cost in use, due to the added complexity of the vacuum tube .. I would to get my hands on the perspective they are handing out to investors.
splatman
Heavier than air machines will never fly. And passengers in a horseless carriage will suffocate at more than 20mph.
drender
Elon Musk's ventures all suffer from scalability issues. Hyperloop one is no exception. It's cool to put together 1/4 mile of tube and a whole bunch of technology, but scaling that up to hundreds of miles is a nightmare.
Sergius
It would be best if Elon Musk and Shervin Pishevar left the vacuum tunnels and soon developed multiple magnetic tracks for individual and collective suspended capsules, without motor or batteries, powered by solar energy, wind or hydrogen. In doing so, they would probably be inaugurating today the future of world transportation, a preview that would resemble and truly honor the genius of Nikola Tesla.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Maybe this could evolve into a vacuum tube satellite launcher.
watersworm
Makes me think of Solar Impulse : It worked pretty well if you estimate that a round the world in sevetal months is wooaw.... And what next ?
ljaques
Well, 192 is an advance from the last test. I wonder if it might be better to make these wind tunnels and blow 'em down the line.