The Hyperloop concept of travel, whereby magnetically levitating capsules zip through low-pressure tubes transport passengers and goods, is fast becoming a topic of conversation. And Hyperloop One, the only company in the world with an operational system, has successfully completed its second phase of testing.
On July 29, Hyperloop One completed Phase 2, when it achieved test speeds travelling nearly the full distance of the 500m DevLoop track in the Nevada desert. The Hyperloop One XP-1, the company's first-generation pod, accelerated for 300m and glided above the track using magnetic levitation before braking and coming to a gradual stop.
"This is the beginning, and the dawn of a new era of transportation," said Shervin Pishevar, executive chairman and co-founder, Hyperloop One. "We've reached historic speeds of 310kph, and are excited to finally show the world the XP-1 going into the Hyperloop One tube. When you hear the sound of the Hyperloop One, you hear the sound of the future."
During phase 2, the XP-1 achieved record speeds in a tube depressurised down to the equivalent of air at 2,00,000ft above sea level.
The future is here
The idea behind Hyperloop One is to transport passengers and cargo that are loaded into a pod, which accelerates gradually using electric propulsion in a low-pressure tube. The pod quickly lifts up above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances taking advantage of ultra-low aerodynamic drag.
"We've proven that our technology works, and we're now ready to enter into discussions with partners, customers and governments around the world about the full commercialisation of our Hyperloop technology," said Hyperloop One CEO, Rob Lloyd. "We're excited about the prospects and the reception we've received from governments around the world to help solve their mass transportation and infrastructure challenges."
"Our team of engineers continues to make history at DevLoop. Only a handful of teams would have attempted something so audacious while far less could have achieved it," said Josh Giegel, president of engineering and co-founder of Hyperloop One.
"Through tireless preparation, dedication and hard work, we successfully completed Phase 1, proving that Hyperloop One technology works and that Hyperloop is real. Phase 2 was far more difficult as we built upon everything we learned from our initial test and accomplished faster speeds at a farther distance. We're now one step closer to deploying Hyperloop around the world."
|Phase 2||Phase 1||Improvement|
|Speed||310kph||111kph||Speed improvement 2.7x|
|Distance travelled||1443 feet||315 feet||4.5x improvement|
|Propulsion||300m||30m||10x longer propulsion segment|
|Power||3151hp||891hp||3.5x more power|
Interestingly, in India, a group of ambitious students from BITS Pilani, formed a group in 2015, to bring the future of transportation to the domestic soil. Team Hyperloop India, the multidisciplinary, multi-university think tank, comprises over 60 motivated students volunteering in the fields of engineering and business, with an interest in reinventing transportation.