Getting somewhere fast could one day mean strapping yourself into a pod with a bunch of other brave souls and rocketing through a near-vacuum tube toward a final destination. What might have sounded like an insane — and likely deadly — plan a couple years ago is beginning to take shape in the Nevada desert.
Over the past weekend, Hyperloop One engineers loaded up the 28-foot-long pod — that Wired described as “a bus with the beak of an eagle” — and flung it through a 1,600-foot tube at 192 mph. The pod uses both magnetic levitation and a 3,000-horsepower electric propulsion system to reach the near-200-mph speeds, and the removal of most of the air in the tube helped to reduce additional friction.
Though the test was successful, there are still significant hurdles to overcome — namely infrastructure costs and government buy-in — before humans can pile in.