The arrival of Hyperloop One just drew a big step closer: It has completed the first full-system test of the ultra-fast transport system

Rebecca Smith
The firm wants to ramp up speeds to 750mph - but first to 250mph
The firm wants to ramp up speeds to 750mph - but first to 250mph (Source: Getty)

Elon Musk is a busy man.

Not a week ago he was showing off Tesla's first mass market electric car rolling off the production line, and now Hyperloop One, the futuristic transport project that's the brainchild of the entrepreneur, has taken a big step closer to operation.

Read more: Britain can do better than a £50bn train line

Hyperloop, which will propel passengers at near-supersonic speeds - accelerated gradually via electric propulsion, has announced it completed the first full-scale test of its hyperloop tech in a vacuum environment in May.

The test lasted 5.3 seconds and the vehicle hit 70 miles per hour during the test in the Nevada desert. The firm has eyes on upping the speed to 250mph, before ultimately aiming for 750mph.

It has also drawn up a prototype pod designed to carry people or cargo through the low-pressure tunnel.

The project has raised more than $160m (£124m) to date and its owners hope governments interested in piloting the project will both regulate it, and help fund it.

In a statement, co-founder Shervin Pishevar told The Verge: "Hyperloop One has accomplished what no one has done before by successfully testing the first full-scale Hyperloop system. 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."

Last month, Hyperloop announced its shortlist of European routes being considered for its transport transformation, after encouraging people to pitch ideas for routes that were deemed technically doable and economically sound.

It has plans to establish a network of routes spanning more than 3,100 miles and connecting more than 75m people in 44 cities.

Among the shortlisted routes are three in the UK; one connecting the Northern cities, another to bridge the North and the South, and a third to connect Scotland with Wales. Also in the running, is a 90km trip from Estonia to Finland, a 629km Spain to Morocco route and one traversing the entirety of Germany.

Read more: Hyperloop's plans to connect Europe: The nine shortlisted routes revealed

Related articles