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.
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.