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Hyperloop One Pod Prototype Unveiled

Friday, July 21, 2017

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The unfolding story of the ultrafast Hyperloop transport system has a new chapter: A full-scale prototype of a passenger pod has been revealed.

Hyperloop One, the company to unveil the pod, stated that the vehicle would be transported along a vacuum-tube system. According to ArchDaily, the company also recently completed the first real-world test of the technology. This involved transporting the test sled along a test track in a vacuum for the first time.

The Passenger Pod in Motion

The pod—which was designed to carry either passengers or cargo, and is known as XP-1—was constructed from lightweight materials, including structural aluminum and carbon fiber. The prototype itself sits at 28 feet long.

Images: Hyperloop One

The pod—which was designed to carry either passengers or cargo, and is known as XP-1—was constructed from lightweight materials, including structural aluminum and carbon fiber. The prototype itself sits at 28 feet long.

According to Hyperloop One, the pods will be transported using magnetic levitation technology. Combined with a low-pressure environment, high speeds can be achieved due to the reduction in friction. This also means the energy requirement increase is minimal.

“Hyperloop One has accomplished what no one has done before by successfully testing the first full scale Hyperloop system,” Shervin Pishevar, Hyperloop One co-founder, said in a statement. “By achieving full vacuum, we essentially invented our own sky in a tube, as if you’re flying at 200,000 feet in the air.”

Test Run

The pod’s test run, which occurred in early May, was only 5.3 seconds long—half the length of Orville Wright’s first flight. But for this test, the company was only using 100 feet of motor. According to the Hyperloop One website: “The longer the motor, the faster we can go.”

There, almost 1,000 feet of linear motor has been installed in a 1,640-foot-long tube. This tunnel is capable of reducing air pressure down to what equates to 200,000 feet above sea level.

Hyperloop One itself is almost on the verge of a complete systems test at its DevLoop location, which is in the desert north of Las Vegas. There, almost 1,000 feet of linear motor has been installed in a 1,640-foot-long tube. This tunnel is capable of reducing air pressure down to what equates to 200,000 feet above sea level. With all of these factors combined, the projected top speed for the pod is 250 miles per hour.

Elon Musk Announcement

As of July 20, Elon Musk announced that he had gained “verbal government approval” for his Hyperloop-related venture, The Boring Company, to build an underground Hyperloop that would connect New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. According to TechCrunch, the stops would connect each city center, with a dozen or more entry and exit elevators within each city.

For Musk’s Boring Company endeavor, the end goal is to build up to 30 tunnels underneath Interstate 105 to help address Los Angeles' notorious traffic problems. The California system would, in theory, involve "car skates" that individual automobiles could mount onto for quick underground transport. The tubes that hold the car skates could also potentially house Hyperloop pods.

Thursday's announcement was the first from Musk regarding an East Coast Hyperloop project.

The Boring Company is not affiliated with Hyperloop One; Hyperloop One began developing its system in 2014 after Musk developed the idea and offered it as an "open-source" concept for others to work on.

Another company, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, is also working on a Hyperloop system, and expects to test a passenger system in 2018 or 2019.

   

Tagged categories: Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Tunnel

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