SCIENCE

High-Speed Hyperloop Hits 116 mph In 1.1 Seconds During First Public Test

System could one day transport people at speeds of more than 700 mph.

12/05/2016 1:52 PM AEST | Updated 12/05/2016 1:52 PM AEST
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Is this the future of travel? 

Hyperloop One held the first public demonstration of its propulsion system on Wednesday, with a unmanned sled hitting 116 mph in just 1.1 seconds on a short stretch of track outside of Las Vegas. 

Eventually, the company hopes the system will hit speeds of more than 700 mph. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, the hyperloop system doesn't have brakes yet, so after the short test, the sled drove into a pool of sand:

Hyperloop One is one of several companies working on transportation technology known as hyperloop, which will feature pods or cars racing through tubes in near-vacuum conditions with little to no air resistance to maximize efficiency and increase speed.

Tesla cofounder Elon Musk released a white paper in 2013 in support of the technology. In an interview with All Things D, he called hyperloop "a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table."

Earlier this week, the company announced that it had raised $80 million in financing and was changing its name from Hyperloop Technologies to Hyperloop One. The company is hoping its system will be operational within five years, transporting passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 30 minutes, the BBC reported. 

“When you think of hyperloop, you think maybe this is gonna happen years from now," CEO Rob Lloyd said in a video released by the company. "It’s gonna happen much quicker than anyone imagines -- and when it does, the world will never be the same."

Hyperloop One also said there will be more tests in the near future, and promised what it called a "Kitty Hawk moment" later this year. Kitty Hawk was the site where the Wright Brothers conducted their first successful flight of the airplane in 1903.  

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