Hyperloop One, the high-speed tube transportation Elon Musk first proposed, is one step closer to implementing the technology after it successfully completed its first full-scale test of the system in May, the company announced Wednesday.
The Hyperloop vehicle is a 28-foot-long aerodynamic pod that utilizes electromagnetic propulsion and "magnetic levitation." It reached 70 miles per hour during its test on a track in the Nevada desert, the Verge first reported. And while that speed is just a fraction of what the company hopes to achieve — 700 miles per hour — it represents a significant milestone in Hyperloop One's quest to reinvent transportation as we know it, the company said.
"Hyperloop is real. The video you saw is our Kitty Hawk moment, we take a lot of inspiration from the Wright brothers and wanted to show the world that it works," co-founder Shervin Pishevar said Wednesday during an appearance on CBS This Morning. "[It's] as if you're creating your own sky in the tube flying at 200,000 feet. It'll be the safest, cleanest, fastest form of transportation in the world."
Hyperloop One will now move into the next phase of testing, where the goal is for the vehicle to hit 250 miles per hour, according to the Verge. While the company has no official business affiliations with Musk, it's sticking to his original concept by developing aluminum pods that it hopes can transport both passengers and cargo at nearly supersonic speeds.
The question of whether or not Hyperloop One can actually hit its goal will be constant throughout its development. Even if the company reaches its target speed of 700 miles per hour, the task of constructing the tubes to support the pods will be daunting given that infrastructure for motor vehicles and trains is difficult to build in the U.S.
For now, Hyperloop testing remains an exciting prospect for the future of mass transportation.