Hyperloop One announced last week that it had completed the first full-scale test of its high-speed transportation system.
The test, which took place in a private setting in May, saw the vehicle only reached 70mph, a tenth of the company’s eventual target speed.
But the firm has stated it feels assured enough to set another phase of testing for later this year, when it hopes to reach 250 miles per hour. Eventually, the system could reach a top speed of 700 miles per hour, nearly the speed of sound.
Hyperloop is the brainchild of by billionaire inventor Elon Musk, chief executive of the aerospace firm SpaceX and the man behind Tesla.
It consists of two massive tubes extending from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Pods carrying passengers would travel through the tubes at speeds of more than 700mph.
Magnetic accelerators will be planted along the length of the tube, propelling the pods forward. The tubes would house a low pressure environment, surrounding the pod with a cushion of air that permits the pod to move safely at such high speeds.
The team tested all of the system’s components together for the first time including the motor, vehicle suspension, magnetic levitation technology, and vacuum pumping system.
The sled levitated above the track for 5.3 seconds using magnetics, reaching almost 2Gs of acceleration while hitting the target speed of 70mph.
When the test took place, the team reduced the pressure inside the test tube to around five pascals, which it says made it the fourth-largest vacuum chamber in the world.