Technonlogy

Hyperloop One’s latest tests broke all of its speed records

Hyperloop One‘s development track is speeding up, both figuratively and literally.   

The company just shared some impressive new footage of its XP-1 pod zooming down the DevLoop test track at almost 200 mph for nearly the full length of 547 yards. This new round of testing builds on Hyperloop One’s breakthrough first full-scale run in the vacuum environment, which was widely publicized last month

The initial tests set out to prove that the system can hold up to the rigors of a full-scale run — but that only sent a stripped-down sled along the track for a quick 5.3 second, 69 mph jaunt. The latest trip down the DevLoop, which the company is calling “Phase 2,” was bigger, faster, and longer, giving us an even more exciting look at what might be the future of transportation.  

Hyperloop One says the Phase 2 testing obliterated all of its previous records. The XP-1 pod used the company’s magnetic levitation (or mag-lev) propulsion system to hit a top speed of 192 mph, traveling a total of 1,433 feet, exponentially improving on the first test’s 69 mph and 315 foot marks.  The company also used a propulsion segment that was 300 meters long, 10 times longer than the first test’s 30 meters.

You can check out some highlights from the new footage below in GIF form. 

The claims made about the latest tests are impressive, but Hyperloop One still has a long track ahead of to fulfill its ultimate goal of creating the world’s first new mode of transportation in over a century, as its founders are fond of calling their work. 

The company said last month that it hoped to push the XP-1 pod to speeds of around 250 mph in its next round of tests, so there’s still a ways to go before hitting that mark. 

The 250 mph mark is still only one milestone on the longer timeline; that’s well short of the finished system’s projected 750 mph-plus top speed. The tests are still only being conducted in the DevLoop, with no active tracks even under construction for real world use — there’s a ton of infrastructure that needs to be built before you can even start thinking about new super-fast commutes.      

The XP-1 pod at the DevLoop facility outside Las Vegas.

The XP-1 pod at the DevLoop facility outside Las Vegas.

That said, news of Phase 2’s progress so soon after the first full-scale test could a good sign of what’s to come from Hyperloop One. The company will keep sending its pods down the loop in the Nevada desert, which will hopefully result in more breakthroughs.    

Here’s a closer look at the company’s raw video of the testing, with some commentary about the latest achievements from Hyperloop One execs Shervin Pishevar and Josh Giegel. 

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