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Hyperloop One to test ultra-high-speed transport technology in Las Vegas desert

Published 11/05/2016

A concept design of a Hyperloop station created by Hyperloop Technologies, one of the pioneering companies working on developing the system Hyperloop Technologies
A concept design of a Hyperloop station created by Hyperloop Technologies, one of the pioneering companies working on developing the system Hyperloop Technologies
The Hyperloop system would use a large tube with capsules inside that would float on air, travelling at more than 700 miles per hour (AP)
Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and Executive Chairman at Hyperloop One, talks about the future of transportation during a press conference on May 10, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Hyperloop One startup intent on zipping people along at near-supersonic speeds in pressurized tubes announced that the French national rail company had joined its growing list of backers. Hyperloop One said that it closed an $80 million round of second round of financing with funding coming an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France's SNCF. / AFP PHOTO / John GURZINSKIJOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Shervin Pishevar, co-founder and Executive Chairman at Hyperloop One, talks about the future of transportation on May 10, 2016 during a press conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Hyperloop One startup intent on zipping people along at near-supersonic speeds in pressurized tubes announced that the French national rail company had joined its growing list of backers. Hyperloop One said that it closed an $80 million round of second round of financing with funding coming an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France's SNCF. / AFP PHOTO / John GURZINSKIJOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Rob Lloyd, CEO at Hyperloop One, moderates a panel discussion with partners during a press conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 10, 2016. The Hyperloop One startup intent on zipping people along at near-supersonic speeds in pressurized tubes announced that the French national rail company had joined its growing list of backers. Hyperloop One said that it closed an $80 million round of second round of financing with funding coming an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France's SNCF. / AFP PHOTO / John GURZINSKIJOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Rob Lloyd, CEO at Hyperloop One, moderates a panel discussion with partners during a press conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 10, 2016. The Hyperloop One startup intent on zipping people along at near-supersonic speeds in pressurized tubes announced that the French national rail company had joined its growing list of backers. Hyperloop One said that it closed an $80 million round of second round of financing with funding coming an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France's SNCF. / AFP PHOTO / John GURZINSKIJOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Shervin Pishevar, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Hyperloop One, talks about the future of transportation on May 10, 2016 during a press conference in Las Vegas. The Hyperloop One startup intent on zipping people along at near-supersonic speeds in pressurized tubes announced that the French national rail company had joined its growing list of backers. Hyperloop One said that it closed an $80 million round of second round of financing with funding coming an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France's SNCF. / AFP PHOTO / John GURZINSKIJOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Shervin Pishevar (R), Hyperloop One co-founder and Executive Chairman, and Brogan BamBrogan (L), co-founder and CTO at Hyperloop One talk, about the future of transportation on May 10, 2016 during a press conference in Las Vegas. The Hyperloop One startup intent on zipping people along at near-supersonic speeds in pressurized tubes announced that the French national rail company had joined its growing list of backers. Hyperloop One said that it closed an $80 million round of second round of financing with funding coming an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France's SNCF. / AFP PHOTO / John GURZINSKIJOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Brogan BamBrogan, co-founder and CTO at Hyperloop One, talks about the future of transportation during a press conference in Las Vegas on May 10, 2016. The Hyperloop One startup intent on zipping people along at near-supersonic speeds in pressurized tubes announced that the French national rail company had joined its growing list of backers. Hyperloop One said that it closed an $80 million round of second round of financing with funding coming an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France's SNCF. / AFP PHOTO / John GURZINSKIJOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images

A US firm working on Hyperloop technology is set to show off a prototype of its ultra-high speed transport system in the desert near Las Vegas.

Hyperloop One (formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies), one of the many companies working on developing the technology, is demonstrating its "linear induction" propulsion system in an open-air test on Wednesday 11 May.

The engine is the same one that would theoretically power a full-scale Hyperloop in the future.

The Hyperloop, as we now know it, was first put forward by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. The theorised mode of transport works by propelling a pressurised passenger or cargo-carrying pod through a vacuum tube, where it can potentially reach speeds of 700mph.

Musk developed the idea, and engineers from his companies are working on it, but the technology has been widely picked up by a variety of firms aiming to be the first to perfect it.

Hyperloop One is currently leading the charge, and announced on 10 May that it had raised $80m (£55m) in a second funding round, receiving backing from firms like SNCF, France's state-owned railway company.

The event will be the first public test in the company's history, and while the small track is a far cry from the international Hyperloop networks proposed by some of the technology's more optimistic advocates, it's a step in the right direction.

Read more

French railways invest in 700mph inter-city 'hyperloop' super-tube train  

Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd said during the announcement: "We're the one company with the focus, the resources. We believe we're the one company that can deliver Hyperloop first."

Lloyd believes the Hyperloop will solve problems of urban congestion, and redefine cites and regions around the world by drastically cutting journey times.

However, his firm will have to prove Hyperloops can be constructed affordably and be safe for passengers before they are taken up by transport authorities.

In the meantime, the company is making connections across the world, in an effort to find suitable sites for future Hyperloops. It's currently partnering with the Åland Islands-based company FS Links AB to look at the possibility of a track connecting Stockholm and Helsinki.

While the company is only trialling the Hyperloop's engine on an exposed track on 11 May, it hopes to conduct a full-scale test at the same site before the end of the year.

Independent

Independent News Service

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