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18 July 2017

Hyperloop One Pod Performs Inside Tube For First Time

Startup mass transportation company Hyperloop One says it’s achieved a big step in turning the concept popularized by Tesla’s Elon Musk into a working transport module

The achievement is levitating a vehicle inside a vacuum-sealed tube for the first time, and it was demonstrated May 12 when a test pod was suspended for 5.3 seconds in a tube and reached 70 mph. The sled was able to lift above the track using electromagnetic propulsion and magnetic levitation, spokeswoman Marcy Simon said.

Launched as a concept by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2013, several of Hyperloop One’s employees previously worked for SpaceX.

Last year, the company conducted another test outside Las Vegas, only that run was carried out on an outdoor track.

Running the pod through a vacuum-sealed tube will be required to reach the intended top speed of 750 mph. The upcoming testing phase is intended to reach 250 mph. The company will need to obtain construction permits for running its pods at high speeds and making turns.

The scope of the technology needed has always been a question for the startup company. Musk’s initial concept had been vague about it.

By using magnetic levitation, or maglev, to elevate the module off the track, the company is following the lead set by Japan. The country has seen maglev trains in operation for years, which has speeded up its rail transport. These trains can run up to around 270 mph.

China has been testing high-speed maglev trains for adoption, as well. Riders can now take a maglev ride in Shanghai.

Fund raising rounds have been needed. So far, $160 million has been raised.

Executives tout the concept as unique and necessary for crowded, polluted cities expected in the future.

“Hyperloop One will move people and things faster than at any other time in the world,” said Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and executive chairman.

In related new, Musk has been working to bring an underground high-speed electric sled to Los Angeles, though Hyperloop One doesn’t seem to be involved. The Tesla chief started up The Boring Company late last year to get the project launched, and to alleviate his annoyance being stuck in traffic on the way to the SpaceX office in Hawthorne.

SEE ALSO:  Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Concept Sees Another Startup Company in Arrivo

In June, Musk had a conversation with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti about expanding the tunnels beyond the area right below the SpaceX parking lot.

The SpaceX CEO was hopeful communications could lead to something good, according to his June 18 tweet:

“Promising conversations with @MayorOfLA regarding tunnel network that would carry cars, bikes & pedestrians. Permits harder than technology.”

Reuters

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