A gentle squeeze of the trigger sends a bullet hurling toward its target at speeds of nearly 1,800 mph. At expected top speeds of 700 mph — fast enough to traverse the United States (from LA to Manhattan) in under four hours — Elon Musk’s levitating people mover, Hyperloop, isn’t quite that fast.
But try watching this and not making the same comparison.
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Musk today posted this video to his personal Instagram account. Like a bullet speeding through a barrel, today’s test showed the impressive acceleration offered by Musk’s vision of Hyperloop. In a distance of just under a mile, the levitating pod hit speeds of 324 km/h (201 mph) before coming to a complete stop, albeit one that would probably require a spinal adjustment if there were passengers on board.
“To be clear, a Hyperloop passenger version wouldn’t have intense light strobe effect (just for testing), nor uncomfortable acceleration,” says Musk. He also claims future efforts could result in speeds of 500 km/h (310 mph) on the same length of track.
Hyperloop One, Musk’s primary competitor in this space, recently completed a similar test. Its pod hit 309 km/h (192 mph). The competition, it seems, has now officially begun.