Thirty miles north of Las Vegas, in the middle of the desert, the future of high speed transportation is starting to take shape. According to Hyperloop Technologies CEO Rob Lloyd, this is the test site where a concept originated by Tesla's Elon Musk becomes a viable option for high-speed transportation. The site is called the Propulsion Open Air Test Facility and it's where the company plans on testing its electric motors at high speeds.
"This is the year when we reach our Kitty Hawk moment, which in our terms means the demonstration of the full technology of Hyperloop working at scale, fully deployed with the four primary innovations that we are working on," said Lloyd.
Those primary innovations are a low pressure tube which allows for less friction, a Pod which can carry either people or cargo, an electric propulsion system that operates using the same principles of a rail gun, and a levitation system that lifts the pod off the track. If these technologies can be harnessed, a hyperloop system could theoretically move at speeds upwards of 750mph while using just a fraction of the energy needed to power planes or trains.
"We actually only need propulsion for about 5% of the track. So we get you up to speed, could be 750mph and then we can glide for 100 miles without applying any other energy because we have little friction," said Lloyd. He is fully confident his company's ambitious targets can be met within a year.