Hyperloop, the supersonic transport system proposed by Elon Musk, underwent its first public demonstration by company Hyperloop One recently in the Nevada desert, 10 miles north of Las Vegas.
The 'propulsion open air test' featured an electromagnetic sled being accelerated to 116 mph in 1.1 seconds, hurtling along a special track measuring 1,500ft long and hitting a pile of sand to stop.
It doesn't yet have brakes.
The test is a very early demo of the super fast hyperloop which, if the goal is achieved, will propel pods at supersonic speeds through near-vacuum tubes and in theory could get from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes.
The demo was done to both show possible partners how much work has been done in such a short time frame and also be a component test, with a full-scale test of the system coming later in the year.
“Hyperloop has the potential to solve many of today’s most complex long-distance transport issues,” said Gregory Hodkinson, Arup Group chairman who recently became one of Hyperloop One's new partners. “If railways helped enable the first industrial revolution, Hyperloop has the potential to do the same for the information economy, overcoming distances and creating connections between people, places, ideas and opportunities.”
Hyperloop One, who recently acquired an extra $80 million in funding, is just one of three different companies working on hyperloop technology. The two other companies are US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTTP) and Toronto-based startup TransPod.
All the companies are working on an idea and technology originally conceived by Elon Musk and Space X, which was then open sourced for others to develop further.
There has also been talk that the first passenger-based system will be built in Dubai.
If you want to see more of this train-sized hoverboard in action have a look at the photos and video below.