August 31st, 2017 by James Ayre
Tesla’s internally developed Hyperloop pod recently surpassed the 220 mph (355 km/h) threshold during testing, according to CEO Elon Musk. Previous to this, the top-speed record for a Hyperloop design was 201 mph, some 20 mph less — achieved by the WARR team at the Hyperloop Pod Competition very recently.
Both of the speed records in question were achieved at the 0.8-mile-long SpaceX Hyperloop test track in Hawthorne, California.
Hyperloop pod run by team WARR pic.twitter.com/ntaMsoxkZE
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 28, 2017
As a reminder here, the plan is for Hyperloop tech to eventually allow for nearly “supersonic” travel within near-vacuum tubes connecting major population or employment centers.
The Verge provides more: “Elon Musk first detailed the Hyperloop concept in a paper published in August, 2013, which called for aluminum pods capable of transporting human passengers at speeds up to 800 mph. At the time Musk said that the development of a prototype could take one or two years if it was his top priority. ‘But it’s going to be pretty far from my top priority,’ he said on a conference call, saying three or four years is more likely.”
To better explain the comments about achieving 500 kilometers an hour in only a few weeks, it should be realized here that the speed records discussed above are mostly as “low” as they are because of safety constraints. In other words, the issue here is one of achieving consistently safe operation at high speeds, rather than just achieving high speeds.
Also, the test track is rather short at this point, so having to leave an adequate distance for stopping apparently limits how fast they can get going.
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