Two weeks after completing the first test on its 1,640-foot test track in Nevada, Hyperloop One set a new speed record during phase 2 testing on July 29, 2017. The ultrafast transportation system traveled 1,433 feet at 192 miles per hour, nearly three times faster and four times longer than results during phase 1 testing.
The term hyperloop was coined by a SpaceX and Tesla joint team. It refers to moving a passenger or cargo carrying pod through a low-pressure tube at high speeds and acceleration rates. The concept of high-speed tube travel is not new. Rober Goddard, who pioneered the first liquid-fueled rocket, proposed a vacuum train in 1909 that is similar to the concept being tested by Hyperloop One. In 2016, Hyperloop One announced the Hyperloop One Global Challenge to try to find the best hyperloop designs in the world.
Hyperloop One uses an electric propulsion system and magnetic levitation to move its vacuum-sealed pods. For the phase 2 test, the pressure in the tube was lowered to conditions similar to those found at 200,000 feet above sea level. At this altitude, there is very little friction of air resistance.
In November 2016, Dubai agreed to test a hyperloop installation between Dubai and Abu Dhabi that would reduce travel time between the two cities from over 90 minutes to just 12 minutes. Speeds of up to 500 miles per hour would be necessary to achieve this goal. The Hyperloop One team estimates the top speed possible at the current test track to be 250 miles per hour, so a longer track will be required for testing beyond this limit.
Click here to see a video of how the hyperloop works.