The first open-air hyperloop test was held this week, almost three years after Elon Musk originally revealed his plans for a new method of high-speed transportation and asked other companies to take the lead. Performed by Hyperloop One (formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies), the public demonstration lasted just over a second but still attracted a crowd to the Nevada desert where the company plans to build a full-scale test track.
The test featured a 10-foot sled and about 100 meters of track. In the blink of an eye, the sled accelerated to 116 miles per hour before coming to a powerful stop. Hyperloop One officials later said they expect to hit 350 miles per hour once the full test track is up and running.
Musk’s ultimate vision was for a new mode of transportation capable of moving as fast as 800 miles per hour, which would make it possible to travel from LA and San Francisco in about 30 minutes. Hyperloop One still has plenty of work to do and it’s already facing some tough competition. Another leading firm, Hyperloop Transportation, recently said it had figured out a way to hit 760mph speeds using a new “passive levitation system.”
Neither company expects to start transporting people via hyperloop for at least a few more years, but it’s still exciting to see the technology transform from a concept to physical tracks and vehicles. For now, check out Hyperloop One’s full test in the video below.