Elon Musk’s vision for high-speed travel in giant steel tubes just got one step closer to reality.
Hyperloop One completed the first full-scale test of its hyperloop pod in vacuum conditions, the company announced earlier today. The full-sized hyperloop vehicle got nowhere near “airline speeds,” topping out at 70 mph during its run down the company’s test track in Nevada.
Hyperloop One posted an emotional video of the test run on its YouTube channel.
The goal of this first test was not to achieve record-breaking speeds, but to simulate the conditions of an aircraft flying at 200,000 feet. Because there is very little air resistance at that height, planes are able to fly at much greater speeds. Hyperloop’s first trial was successful in demonstrating that the same effect could be achieved using vacuum tubes.
Hyperloop co-founder Shervin Pishevar called the test “our Kitty Hawk moment” in an interview with CBS News. He claimed the hyperloop will one day become the cleanest, fastest, and safest form of transportation in the world.
The company is already starting its next phase of testing, with the goal of hitting speeds of 250 miles per hour on a longer, 1,640-foot test track using its recently revealed XP-1 pod. That will bring it one step closer to reaching the technology’s theoretical top speeds of around 750 miles per hour, which would transport a passenger from San Francisco to Los Angeles in half an hour.
Hyperloop One is still a long way from starting construction on its first commercial projects, including a 12-minute link between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. You definitely shouldn’t expect to see one of these high-speed tubes in the U.S. anytime soon.