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We have first test of futuristic technology that could revolutionize transportation is happening in Nevada today, dubbed the Hyper Loop. This is an idea that was first proposed by entrepreneur Ellen Musk. NBC’s Gudie Swartz is in Las Vegas. Gudy, this is the first public test of this technology.
That’s right, good morning, Savannah! This right here is Hyper Loop One. And the idea eventually is to put people, to put cargo in specialized pods and then put them in airtight tubes like this and then shoot them for 100s of miles, all at the speed of sound. Now put this in perspective, LA to SFO usually takes about 6 to 7 hours, this would take 30 minutes. Faster than a speeding bullet train, more powerful than an airplane. That’s what Ellen Musk was hoping for when he unveiled his idea for the Hyper Loop back in 2013, sparking an intense competition among rivals firms to build the first working model.
Imagine this, travelling from one city to other at nearly the speed of sound. A milestone high speed travel could make that closer to reality. Cater Evan shows us the big developments in hyper loop technology.
Blink and you might miss it! But a speed is sort of the point! On a test track in the Nevada Desert, a 1500 pound sled went from zero to 60 in about a second. Powered by an electromagnetic propulsion system, it reached 116 miles per hour before plowing into a sand barrier to slow it down. “We demonstrated today a full scale component of the Hyper Loop. We always said we’re gonna move this fast. It just really amazing to see the team come together behind it and execute”
Hyper Loop One hopes to build a carbon free network of tubes with pods that would travel at near supersonic speeds on a cushion of air using electric motors. Theoretically, someone could travel the roughly 400 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 30 minutes. “So this simulates the pod going thru the tube. Correct!” We got an inside look at Hyper Loop’s engineering last fall at the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles. “We literally build a full scale tube between any two destinations. Then inside of that tube, we have a pod that we can send either people or cargo very quickly!”
Some critics say Wednesday’s test shows there is still a long way to go. “Keep in mind that this was a very short distance. And its maximum speed was one tenth the speed what a Hyper Loop system would be!” The concept Hyper Loop One is working on, gained traction in 2013 after TESLA and Space X CEO Elan Musk released a design plan. But there is competition. “The fact that there are several companies working on this, means there are a lot of people who take this idea very seriously and are determined to try and make it happen. However, infrastructure is very hard. It just takes time
to take an idea and turn it into reality.” The Hyper Loop One CEO Rob Royd told us that reality is not so far off. “How long before we see the first functional Hyper Loop System? 5 years from now will be moving goods and people.” For CBS this morning, Cater Avinse, Los Angeles.