Photos credit: Virgin Hyperloop
Hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and freight transportation, first used to describe an open-source vactrain design released by Elon Musk and a joint team from Tesla and SpaceX. Essentially, it is a sealed tube or system of tubes with low air pressure through which a pod may travel substantially free of air resistance or friction. Hyperloop can move people or objects at airline or hypersonic speeds while being very energy efficient, which will dramatically reduce travel times.
On November 8, Virgin Hyperloop announced that it was testing its ultra-fast transportation system with human passengers for the first time. The test was conducted at the company's DevLoop proving ground near Las Vegas, Nevada. The first two passengers were Virgin Hyperloop CTO and co-founder Josh Gigel and passenger service chief Sara Lucian, according to The Verge.
Buckled into their seats in the Hyperloop capsule, they were transferred to an airlock, and the capsule then accelerated to 100 mph (160 km/h) before slowing to a stop. This was an important milestone for the company, and for Elon Musk, who is the creator of this idea.
The DevLoop test track is 500 meters long and 3.3 meters in diameter. “No one has done anything close to what we’re talking about right now,” Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop, told The Verge. “This is a full scale, working hyperloop that is not just going to run in a vacuum environment, but is going to have a person in it. No one has come close to doing it."
Musk first mentioned Hyperloop publicly in 2012. His concept has been explicitly open-sourced and others have been encouraged to take the idea and further develop it. Virgin Hyperloop was founded in 2014 based on Musk's vision of a futuristic transportation system consisting of capsules suspended from a magnetic field, traveling through nearly airless pipes.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.