Speed Reads

travel by tube

Hyperloop pod travels 192 mph in successful test run

Hyperloop travel is quickly becoming a reality. California-based tech company Hyperloop One announced Wednesday that in a test conducted in Nevada over the weekend, its vacuum-sealed pod reached a speed of 192 mph over a 1,640-foot test run. The feat more than doubles Hyperloop One's previous record, set in May when the pod completed a test run that reached only 70 mph.

The 28-foot-long pod uses magnetic levitation to propel itself through a track made of depressurized tubing. The tubes create conditions similar to those found at an altitude of 200,000 feet, where air pressure is reduced, thus reducing resistance. The target speed for the pod, known as the XP-1, is 250 mph, which would exceed the 200 mph mark that bullet trains reach in Japan.

Hyperloop travel was first introduced in a 2013 white paper by Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk. The details were idealistic, envisioning levitating trains reaching speeds of 750 mph. In June, Musk announced that he had received verbal government approval for his new firm, The Boring Company, to dig hyperloop tunnels between major U.S. cities on the East Coast.

The next step in hyperloop development will be figuring out how to efficiently load and unload passengers or cargo without disrupting the near-vacuum state the pods require. See a video of the Hyperloop One test run below. Elianna Spitzer