The hyperloop is a transportation pod of the future first proposed by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. One of the companies hard at work in making this futuristic concept a reality is Los Angeles-based startup Hyperloop One. Now, Hyperloop One is a step closer to testing the technology, having finished its DeveLop test track in Las Vegas.
The almost 500-meter (1,640-foot) long track is a full-scale testing site that will facilitate Hyperloop One’s work on levitation, propulsion, vehicle control, and vacuum pressurization technologies as it prepares for its goal of a commercial launch. A completed test track marks a huge step for Hyperloop One, as it now has a working system that shows what the final version of these futuristic pods would look like.
Hyperloop One hasn’t just been hard at work in the United States, but also in Dubai, where it has plans for building a hyperloop network meant to transport not just people, but cargo. The Dubai plan features a hyperloop transportation system that integrates full passenger and cargo-capable pods that converge at specified terminals called “hyperloop portals.”
Hyperloop One has been getting considerable attention outside the U.S., but things may be changing now that the DeveLop test track is finished. Even President Donald Trump has expressed interest in the hyperloop.
On April 4, Hyperloop One held its Vision For America launch event in Washington, D.C., where they presented 11 proposed routes, cutting across 35 U.S. cities. “The eleven U.S. teams represent routes that would connect 35 metro areas and 83 million Americans: Las Vegas to Reno in 42 minutes. Chicago to Columbus in 29 minutes. Denver to Boulder in 5 minutes,” according to Hyperloop One’s blogpost.
Together with autonomous vehicles and flying cars, the hyperloop will join the league of futuristic transportation methods that once seemed limited to the pages of science fiction, but are now closer than ever within our reach.