Hyperloop One claims that its prototype ultra-fast train has completed a first full systems test in a vacuum, reaching a speed of 70 mph. The sled was able to magnetically levitate on the track for 5.3 seconds and “reached nearly 2Gs of acceleration,” according to the company.
The test was conducted privately but Hyperloop One offered some video that included footage from testing. Based on that footage plus a few seconds of additional b-roll shared with media, a lightweight skeleton sled uses a linear motor to accelerate, levitates briefly, and then comes to a halt as the brakes are applied.
Hyperloop One was created as an answer to a challenge from Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who wrote a white paper envisioning a mode of transportation that would send pods at speeds greater than 700mph using a low-friction environment and levitation using air bearings. Musk said he didn’t have time to see the idea to fruition, but SpaceX has hosted ongoing competitions for student and professional teams to show off pod design and execution. Hyperloop One and other startups have also formed to tackle the idea from a VC-funded or volunteer angle.