Shortly before its first public demonstration, Hyperloop Technologies changed its name to Hyperloop One in a bid to avoid confusion with rival research group Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. With that formality out of the way, the company moved forward with its planned propulsion demonstration Wednesday afternoon.
Hyperloop One invited several journalists out to the Nevada desert for the first public open-air test. As you can see in the video above, the event was over in just a few seconds which, when you’re trying to build a ridiculously fast transportation system, is good news.
The test consisted of a metal sled accelerating down a length of track just over 100 meters long. The final design will of course consist of a transport pod inside an above-ground, low-pressure tube to reduce drag.
According to The Verge, the sled accelerated from 0-100 MPH in 1.1 seconds. The Next Web was also in attendance and points out that this test didn’t use the company’s latest technology. Instead, it simply demonstrated the propulsion system so there was no levitation in play as the sled used wheels and railroad tracks instead.
Predictably, a lot of people are comparing the test to what’s used in some amusement park rollercoasters. Some publications are claiming the sled hit a top speed of 400 MPH but I'm just not buying it based on the video. For comparison, here's what a rocket sled looks like at 700 MPH.
Hyperloop One is planning a “full system test” of a pod inside a tube later this year.