Virgin Hyperloop One Has Released a Video of a Full-Scale Hyerloop Pod in Action
In the face of 1,000-horsepower sports cars and commuter-mobiles that can drive themselves, the world of mass transit has a bit of catching up to do. However, it’s looking like Hyperloop tech is now gaining some serious steam, as evidenced by a recently released video from Virgin showing off a full-scale pod in action.
In the video, we see the prototype vehicle at speed on a test track out in Nevada. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t provide any specs or technical data, so we don’t know the top speed achieved or how long the pod was on track, but we do know that last year the company said it achieved upwards of 240 mph in testing.
This latest vehicle, dubbed the Vision 2030 Hyperloop Pod, was unveiled just last week during a visit from Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and Minister of Defense. The middle eastern company hopes to implement the technology nationally in the next few decades.
Using magnetic levitation and partially evacuated tubes, Hyperloop pods can travel at very high rates of speed, free from friction and with very low air resistance. One proposed route in the U.S. would connect Los Angeles and San Francisco, whisking travelers to and fro in as little as 30 minutes, a huge time savings compared to the 6 hours it would take by car.
Virgin Hyperloop One’s Full-Scale Pod is Designed by BMW
Virgin’s dream of bringing Hyperloop One to life took a major step forward when the company unveiled a full-scale prototype model of the passenger pod that it will use on the network. The unveiling took place in Dubai with the help of the country’s Roads Transport Authority as part of UAE Innovation Month. The 8.7-meter pod comes with a futuristic-looking capsule that was designed, in part, by BMW.
Virgin Hyperloop One To Build India’s First Hyperloop System
Virgin Hyperloop One just announced plans to build India’s first hyperloop transportation system. The new high-tech train will connect the cities of Pune and Mumbai and will help to support economic interests in the region.
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Virgin Hyperloop One Clocks Record 240 MPH In Latest Round of Testing
There’s been a lot of movement around Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One project, and almost all of it points to the technology becoming a real thing in the future. Fresh off announcing Sir Richard Branson’s appointment as company chairman and adopting the “Virgin” name as part of its branding strategy, Virgin Hyperloop One managed to hit a top speed of 240 mph during its third phase of testing at the company’s DevLoop test track in Nevada.
You’ve Seen Hyperloop Before but Not Like This
Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One may be getting all the headlines in discussions among futuristic public transport, but a start-up company that traces its roots to Hyperloop One is making a pitch of a different sort. The company is called Arrivo, and it has partnered with the Colorado Department of Transportation to build what CEO Brogran BamBrogan calls a “hyperloop-inspired system.”
Ok, so it’s not technically a hyperloop in the vein of what Musk is envisioning. But it is a futuristic public transportation system that takes elements from the much-hyped Hyperloop One project and abides by the same end-goal of decongesting road traffic. It’s just doing it in a different and more traditional way. First, the project makes no use of low-pressure tubes, which are one of the most important elements of Musk’s Hyperloop One project. Instead, Arrivo will build magnetized tracks that run parallel to pre-existing highways. Second, the company isn’t promising the kind of travel that Hyperloop One is aiming for. That means the idea of traveling through a near-vacuum state at close to supersonic speeds has been tabled and replaced with a more traditional approach that makes use of magnetic levitation. BamBrogan says that this setup still allows for commuters to travel at speeds in excess of 200 mph. The startup’s proposal proved impressive enough that Colorado is jumping onboard to help facilitate Arrivo’s goal of building a network of tracks through the city of Denver. BamBrogan added that if everything goes according to plan, Arrivo will begin construction of the project in 2019 with the goal of becoming operational by 2021.
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Elon Musk is Confused; Verbal Approval for NY-to-DC Hyperloop a Misunderstanding
Elon Musk’s “verbal approval” for a Hyperloop tunnel between New York and Washington D.C. has been shot down by the White House. White House Advisor, Reed Cordish, has said that he was misunderstood and what Musk actually heard was “verbal government excitement.” But, that doesn’t mean the tunnel won’t happen.
Hyperloop One Gets a New Name and Another Elite Investor
If you didn’t think Hyperloop One had a serious chance of doing something amazing for the transportation world, well you better think again, as it just got a new vote confidence and a new investor. That investor is none other than Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson, another billionaire industrialist that resides somewhere in the same level of playership as Elon Musk. With this investment, Branson not only gives his seal of approval and confidence for the company but also finds himself sitting as a member of the board of directors and even brought about a name change too: Virgin Hyperloop One.
Now, there’s no word as to how much Branson has actually invested, but you know It’s a pretty significant amount of cheddar if the company is being rebranded to include “Virgin” in the name. And, whether or not the company even needed the investment remains to be seen, considering the fact that it has recently announced receiving $85 million in financing, which brings its grand total up to $245 million. Its total valuation is approaching 10-figure numbers at this point, but it should be pointed out that somehow this company has managed to suck up truckloads of cash without any type of product, revenue stream, proof of safety, or even government approval. So, let’s just say that there are a lot of people out there hoping that “Virgin HyperLoop One” is as successful as it’s been played up to eventually be.
Keep reading to learn a little more about Virgin Hyperloop One
Take a Quick Look at What it will be like to Travel at High Speed in Elon Musk’s HyperLoop!
One could argue that Elon Musk is the world’s best guru when it comes to revolutionizing the way we transport our weak, frail bodies from point A to point B. He’s pretty much the man responsible for the EV craze that has swept the world and led some markets to consider banning non-EVs altogether, simply by showing that long-range electric cars are possible. He’s also got some other crazy ideas that have, so far, proven to be on their way to being just as successful as the Tesla brand. Of course, I’m talking about building hyperloops for faster travel and digging tunnels to combat traffic congestion. Should both prove to be successful, Musk will have successfully rewritten the book on high-speed travel and mass transit at the same time. Talk about trying to find your way into the history books, huh? Like most people with outrageous and groundbreaking ideas, he has been met with a lot of skepticism, but as it turns out, everything continues to fall into place as it should. And now, some students over in Germany, have shown us what 200 mph will be like inside one of these crazy Hyperloop tunnels.
Of course, this is a small demonstration, and the WARR pod used to make the run isn’t exactly the real McCoy. It’s quite a bit smaller, but assumingly to scale, and a preview of what we can expect – to a point. See, Musk speculates that his Hyperloop tunnel will be able to transport folks like you and I and speeds of up to 800 mph. Let me say that again… 800 MPH! Now, that’s fast. So fast, in fact, that it beats out the cruising speed of a Boeing 747 by nearly 200 mph. So, keep that in mind when you watch the video below. 200 MPH looks pretty damn fast, but increase the speed by a factor of four, and you’ll really see what kind of insane speeds we’re talking about. Musk says it will be safe, but just imagine one of those pods dislodging at 800 MPH – now that’s a scary accident from which the likelihood of surviving is pretty slim.
Elon Musk Receives Official Approval for The Boring Company’s First Tunnel under L.A., but it Doesn’t Mean what you Think
I just brought you news about the potential opportunity to pilot the tunnel-digging beast that is Godot, assuming you have enough friends who want a Model S or Model X – and your opportunity might take place under the streets of Los Angeles. As of the morning of August 29, Elon Musk has received official approval from Los Angeles City Council to begin extending the tunnel he begun on SpaceX’s property a total of two miles. The council approved his request with a 4-1 vote (who really downvoted this, seriously?) and have authorized a two-mile stretch of tunnel below 120th street, effectively connecting the SpaceX car elevator to Hawthorne Boulevard by the time everything is said and done. It’s not all fun and games, though, and it could prove to be challenging as there is at least one requirement that The Boring Company must follow.
All told, Godot can do its thing under 120th under the stipulation that the surface area above doesn’t subside by more than half of an inch in any place. There’s no word as to what will happen should such a thing take place, but one has to assume that digging will be halted until a solution can be put in place and a new plan devised to prevent such a thing from occurring in the future. On the plus side, the tunnel will be dug at a depth of 44 feet below ground, which means city residents shouldn’t hear any of the construction, see construction crews, or have their lives interrupted in any way, shape, or form – assuming 120th doesn’t collapse into a massive man-made trench, that is. And, to prove a point, Musk has already released a photo of a Model S sitting inside the tunnel at its very first entry point. Check out the photo and learn a little more about it below.
Refer your Homies to Tesla, and You Might Get to Drive Godot, Elon Musk’s Prized Tunnel Digger
If you’ve been paying attention for the last few years, you know Elon Musk has a funny way of driving sales, generating money, and enticing customers. When it comes to money, the man might as well have a key to Fort Knox, and with Tesla’s referral program, he’s coming up with ways that really make you want to push your friends to jump on the EV bandwagon. As reported by Teslarati, Tesla’s newest incentive, which is currently called “Secret Level Two,” allows members of the referral program to give five more of your friends unlimited supercharging and $1,000 off of a new Model X or Model S. But, that’s not all, if all five of those people take delivery, you’ll get the chance to drive Godot and will get unlimited bragging rights to remind all of your friends that you got to take part in digging holes under cities like Los Angeles – where Musk just recently received official approval to start his mass transit tunnel.
So, get enough people to spend some $80,000 on a Tesla, and you could take place in a piece of history should Musk’s tunneling system really work out. Who knows, maybe he’ll even be nice enough to let you engrave your initials inside one of the tunnels or sign your name on Godot somewhere for the world to see. Right now, however, Godot is at rest, hibernating some 15 feet below the surface of Tesla’s parking lot in Hawthorne, California – the site of Musk’s test hole and what undoubtedly led to him getting the interest of some city officials in making his transit system a reality. Musk has even been quoted by other publications as saying “I’ve been down there on the machine and it’s mind-blowing.” Hard to believe for a machine that quite literally craws through the earth like a big earth worm, but how often do you get to take part in digging a tunnel with a beast of a machine like Godot? Check out the “Secret Level 2” alerts below and learn a little more about The Boring Company.
Believe it or Not, SpaceX has Helped Tesla in a Big Way
So, Tesla just had its second-quarter earnings call for 2017 with all the suits that want to know what’s cracking. One of the most important aspects of the call was the Tesla has delivered 47,000 vehicles in the first half of 2017, and another was that the Model Y would, indeed, be built using the same underpinnings as the Model 3 instead of an all-new platform. But there was another interesting tidbit of information mentioned during the call, all thanks to some curious investors during the Q&A portion of the call. Since Elon Musk is Wonderboy and runs all different kinds of companies, including SpaceX, investors were curious as to how innovation at SpaceX could be applied to Tesla, and sure enough, the truth comes out. SpaceX innovation has already helped Tesla in a big way, ultimately shaving eight hours off of the production time for each and every vehicle – now that’s some serious savings because, you know, time is money. So, how did SpaceX lend a helping hand to sister company Tesla?
Well, unfortunately, it has nothing to do with strapping a Falcon 9 rocket to a Model S and breaking the land-speed record or sending an autonomous car into low-earth orbit. But, it did arise from the need to determine the quality of a specific object – a process that apparently took eight hours per vehicle to complete. The object in question is an aluminum casting. We’re not sure what the casting is for, but it’s apparently quite important. So, Tesla decided to reach out to SpaceX, since SpaceX knows all about that kind of thing, and the SpaceX team was able to hook Tesla up with the ultrasonic sensors that enable much faster inspection time. Now, if that’s not sharing innovation, I don’t know what is. Keep reading to learn a little more.
Verbal Approval Means the First Hyperloop One Tunnel Could be on the East Coast
Elon Musk moves at about the speed of light these days, with new ideas and companies popping up one after another. He’s, of course, got Tesla, The Boring Company, Hyperloop One, SpaceX, and Neuralink, to name a few. Where this man gets his energy from alone is a complete mystery, but I certainly want some of what he’s drinking. The biggest hype lately has fallen between two companies – Hyperloop One and Space X. Space X is doing big things with launches and landings, and meanwhile, Hyperloop One just completed its first successful test run. Not that long ago, a list of potential Hyperloop One routes was released that included several from across the U.S. but more than 30 from across the globe. It was looking like the U.S. might not even see the first one, and if we did, it would likely be a 488-mile loop between Chicago and Pittsburgh or a 640-mile loop that covers the Texas Triangle. Now, Elon Musk has taken to twitter, ultimately claiming to have received verbal approval to build one right on the East Coast.
The track in question would connect New York City, to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C., at their city centers with up to a dozen elevators for entry in each city. This would, of course, be an underground route and would put The Boring Company to work for quite some time while construction was in progress. Of course, Musk also had to make it a point to say he got that verbal approval in just 29 minutes. Tooting his own horn aside, that’s a pretty admirable accomplishment, but it’s still a long way from making the first Hyperloop track a reality. So, with that in mind, this track would revolutionize travel in one of the busiest corridors of the nation, but I wouldn’t start selling off your car, bus pass, or frequent flyer miles just yet.
Hyperloop One Becomes Reality with First Successful Test Run
When he isn’t making electric cars or sending rockets into space, Elon Musk busies himself promoting a new train-like form of transportation called a Hyperloop. Essentially a magnetically propelled pod that moves through a vacuum-sealed tube, the idea is to create a quiet, comfortable, and efficient method of moving people and things at incredibly high rates of speed. It’s not a new concept, but it’s certainly extremely technically challenging. However, the Los Angeles-based company Hyperloop One just announced a major breakthrough with the completion of the first phase in the creation of a real, working vactrain.
The announcement comes via press release stating that Phase 1 was completed May 12th at the DevLoop test track in Nevada. Parameters tested include the vacuum environment, the propulsion motor, the vehicle suspension, the magnetic levitation system, the electromagnetic brakes, and the vacuum pumping system. The pod coasted for 5.3 seconds and posted as much as 2 G’s of acceleration, reaching a speed of 70 mph. While far below the 700-mph top speed expected when this technology is fully developed, the Phase 1 completion is proof that development is indeed underway. The next phase will target a speed of 250 mph and take place on a longer track. Alongside the announcement of Phase 1 completion, Hyperloop 1 also unveiled its new pod prototype. Made from aluminum and carbon fiber, the pod is 28 feet long. Check out the included seven-and-a-half minute video of the test inside the control room for more.
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Elon Musk’s Tunnel System Slowly Comes to Life
Back when Elon Musk started posting on social media about digging his own tunnels, everyone thought he was just ranting about traffic and joking around. Then, not that long afterward, he began digging a tunnel in SpaceX’s parking lot, and we saw an image of his first boring machine – now called Godot – shortly after delivery. Things have been rather quiet since someone over at SpaceX posted that early image of Godot a couple of weeks ago, but Elon has taken it upon himself to show us just how serious he really is.
What was once considered to be a company of just “a few engineers and interns” has apparently grown substantially in a short period. Unless, of course, Musk has been working those poor people 24/7. See in just a couple short weeks, The Boring Company hasn’t only put together the staging area for the first tunnel but has also put Godot into position and has begun putting it to use. Musk even posted a picture of their pet Slug (Gary) and said a race is about to be underway. So what’s next? Well, the first full-length tunnel will run from LAX to Santa Monica, Westwood, and Sherman Oaks, with plans to eventually cover all of Los Angeles in the future. Curious to know what it will look like cruising through one of these tunnels? Keep reading to see a video of an electric sled – what will transport cars through the tunnels, being put to the test.
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So, Elon Musk Really is Serious About Making Tunnels
Back in December, WonderBoy Elon Musk – the man behind business ventures like Tesla, Space X, and Neuralink – announced on Twitter that he was tired of traffic and that he was going to start digging tunnels. He later said that he would call it “The Boring Company.” Well, as it turns out, it looks like he wasn’t kidding. A Space X employee posted the image you see above to Instagram a few days ago that shows a new tunnel boring machine sporting Elon’s “The Boring Company” logo on the side. The post has since been removed, but not before we, and the rest of the internet got our hands on it.
It was just a couple of months ago that Bloomberg reported Musk’s building of a demo tunnel in the SpaceX parking lot, and that it would serve as the basis for his underground network. But, that’s just the start, as plan includes as many as “30 levels of tunnels” that could be used by cars or even Hyperloop, should that project continue to go according to plan. Musk has already claimed the rights to “BoringCompany.com,” but if he really wants to see his plan go beyond the SpaceX parking lot, he’ll have to comply with rules set forth by Los Angeles, the State of California, and all federal regulations. Needless to say, when you take permits, surveys, equipment, and manpower into consideration, it’s going to be one expensive project. Will it actually happen? Only time will tell, but he’s obviously well on his way.
Will Hyperloop One Revolutionize the Transport and Travel Industries?
Hyperloop one has been busy working on its test track in Nevada and has made a lot of progress, confirming that the company has finalized the tube installation on its 1640-foot test track. It’s not quite operational yet, but one could say that things are coming along swimmingly. So swimmingly, in fact, that Hyperloop One has just released a list of routes here in the U.S. that all have the potential for being built in the coming years. Most routes cover a few hundred miles, give or take, but some go much farther, with a route from Cheyenne to Houston taking the cake at 1,152 miles from end to end. The smallest proposed route is just 64 miles, linking Boston to Somerset and Providence in Massachusetts.
Other potential routes would link Los Angeles to San Diego with 121 miles of track, Miami to Orlando for a route total of 257 miles, and there’s even a mini route between Boston, Somerset, and Providence in Massachusetts stretches just 64 miles. A track linking Reno to Las Vegas would extend a total of 454 miles and make the trip to Vegas much quicker for those living in the northern end of the state. Hyperloop one expects a completed system to be able to reach speed in the 700 mph range, making a non-stop trip from Cheyenne, WY to Houston, TX take less than two hours. That’s less than half of the 4 hours and 40 minutes it would take you to get there on a non-stop flight as of the time of this writing.
The chances are that Dubai will get the first function track, thanks to tons of interest, but with these potential routes in mind, the U.S. just might get dibs on the first track. After all, that 64-mile route in Massachusetts would be relatively cheap to build in comparison to some of the other proposed routes. But, how will hyperloop one – should it prove to be a successful innovation – affect the transport and travel industries? Keep reading to find out.
Arx Pax Now Selling Improved Hover Engines
Arx Pax, a tech company based out of Los Gatos, California, has announced the availability of its HE3.0 hover engines, offered as a pair for $9,999. Described as providing “omnidirectional frictionless movement,” the engines can be used for levitation, propulsion, guidance, and braking, all within a single system. In addition to the obvious applications (transportation, entertainment), Arx Pax says the technology could also be used for industrial automation (moving heavy objects), and infrastructure protection in the event of a natural disaster (seismic isolation in an earthquake, elevation during a flood, etc.).
You might remember Arx Pax for its Hendo hoverboard, a self-levitating platform that was the first real showcase of the company’s Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA) technology.
“This is the most efficient way to separate an object from the earth,” Greg Henderson, CEO and co-founder of Arx Pax, told The Verge. “When you have something that actually hovers, it sells itself.”
In addition to the HE3.0 product, Arx Pax is also selling a more accessible version of the tech called the MFA bundle, which includes four downsized HE400 hover engines, four mounting and actuation brackets, four servos, and a system controller. Designed for builders seeking to create scale models of larger hover systems, the MFA bundle is priced at $1,589.
Of course, one of the primary applications for the Arx Pax engine technology is the Hyperloop, a high-speed tube-based transportation system currently in development by several private organizations. SpaceX, the California-based aerospace company headed by Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk, is promoting this development by hosting an open competition to design and build a Hyperloop pod, and according to Arx Pax, several of the competitors have purchased the hover technology for use in Hyperloop pod development.
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In a keynote interview at the Texas Transportation Forum last Thursday, Tesla Motors CEO/SpaceX founder/mega-entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled plans to move his concept for an ultra-fast, air-powered transportation system a little closer to reality. Known as the Hyperloop, Musk hopes to fund a five-mile test track somewhere in Texas for further development by “companies and student teams.”
Musk followed the announcement with a series of tweets, including one that mentions “an annual student Hyperloop pod racer competition, like Formula SAE”.
Musk has described the Hyperloop as a combination of the Concorde supersonic jet, a railgun, and an air hockey table. Basically, the concept employs a series of tubes at partial vacuum to move passengers about in self-contained capsules. Thanks to extremely low air-resistance, these capsules are said to be capable of speeds up to 760 mph. Musk hopes this technology will enable travelers to make a run from Los Angeles to San Francisco, a 354-mile journey, in about half an hour.
It’s been a year and a half since Musk outlined his concept in a 58-page PDF, but given the fact that he runs some of the most innovative transportation companies in the world, it’s probably safe to say he’s been a bit busy. No word has been given on the exact date for the test track’s construction, but you can bet there are more than a few geek teams out there already working on their pods at this very moment.
Click past the jump to read more about Musk’s 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track.