Hyperloop One hits nearly 200mph with first passenger pod test

The Hyperloop One project is gathering pace, both literally and figuratively.

Back in May, during the first full systems test, the company pushed a sled along its Nevada DevLoop test track at 70mph.

Now, using the actual pod that’ll be used to transport passengers, Hyperloop One has revealed it notched up speeds of 192mph.

The XP-1 pod zoomed along the 500-metre track using magnetic levitation, accelerating for 300 meters before braking to a halt.

Hyperloop One depressurized the tube to mimic the air pressure at 200,000 feet above sea level, where there’s less resistance. You can see the results in the video the company posted today:

The company is pushing towards the eventual goal of over 700mph that would enable travel from LA to San Francisco in around 30 minutes. Its tech has a theoretical top speed of 760mph.

The pod itself is 8.7 meters long, 2.7 meters tall and 2.4 meters wide and makes a sound akin to a dog whining. Or, as The Verge points out, a baby TIE Fighter from Star Wars.

Hyperloop One co-founder Josh Giegel reckons the XP-1 motor’s its one of the most efficient ever built and will be able to withstand the vigours of operating in a vacuum.

The company says this test makes the completion of Phase Two testing. Phase Three will be about building on that speed and creating systems that allow it to load the pods without losing the air pressure.

Hyperloop One

Image: Hyperloop One

Last month, Elon Musk claimed to have received verbal approval to build a Hyperloop link between New York City and Washington D.C.. There are also active plans to build a Hyperloop system in Dubai.

Hyperloop One has also floated plans for European routes, with the hypothetical journey between London and Edinburgh taking just 50 minutes.

Some of these plans may still seem fanciful, but as the company’s tests continue, more and more naysayers are dropping by the wayside.