As multiple companies are putting all their effort to make Hyperloop a reality, Hyperloop One says that they have been able to successfully conduct the first ever pod test. The forerunner in the Hyperloop race claims that they reached a top speed of 310 km/h on their new 500 m test track in the Nevada desert on July 29, 2017. This is the Phase 2 of the company, where the earlier Phase 1 test included a bare-bones assembly. The interesting development of Phase 2 is that a full-size pod, named the XP-1, was deployed to achieve the milestone.
Hyperloop One conducted the test without the presence of any media at the tracks. In their latest test run, they were able to depressurise the tube “down to the equivalent of air at 200,000 feet above sea level”. The XP-1 pod is said to include a “highly efficient electric motor” and other new components that enable it to accelerate using electric propulsion. Magnetic levitation kicks in to lift the pod and it glides along the track at high speeds. During the test, the pod accelerated for 300 metres and glided on the track until the brakes were deployed, coming to a gradual stop. You can watch the video released by Hyperloop One showing their successful run.
Compared to Phase 1, the Phase 2 testing achieved a faster speed of 310 km/h over the previous 111 km/h. This time it covered a longer distance of 1,433 feet compared to the previous 315 feet. Previously, the bare-bones sled accelerated for a distance of only 30 m whereas this time, the XP-1 pod accelerated up to 300 m. Finally, the new pod pulled off more horsepower, about 3,151 hp compared to 891 hp on the previous one.
Limited by the current test track, Hyperloop One’s aim is to reach a top speed of 402 km/h. As they build longer test tracks, they will be able to push a higher acceleration and achieve a higher top speed. While taking Elon Musk’s grand idea ahead, the company has an ongoing Global Challenge competition to design pods where Hyperloop India is the only team representing India. The company had shared its “Vision for India” showing interest to build a Hyperloop system connecting major cities in the country. Although several routes have been suggested, the final routes haven’t been announced yet.
Source: Ars Technica