The hyperloop is being billed as one of the most exciting and important transportation breakthroughs for generations. A levitating train, envisioned by Elon Musk and blasted through a tube with its air removed at 700mph, it is quickly becoming a case of science fiction made real.
Several companies, including Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, are working to make Musk's vision a reality, while governments begin to realise plans to construct long hyperloop routes in the air and underground will soon need to be taken seriously.
But does everyone really understand how hyperloops work? Unless you have a good understanding of magnetic levitation trains, electric motors and vacuums – or you are called Elon – then the answer is probably 'no'.
To help change this, Hyperloop One has published a video on YouTube. In 90 seconds it explains how the 670mph vehicle is powered and driven through a tunnel with most of its air removed.
First, there is the track which is essentially an electromagnetic motor unwound and laid flat along the floor of the tunnel. Each pod is pushed along the track when an electric current is fed through the magnets. Where an electric motor spins in a circle, the hyperloop pod is propelled forwards. Upon reaching a certain speed, the pod lifts up and is guided by magnets. This increases speed and makes for a more comfortable ride.
Nearly all of the air inside the hyperloop tube is removed with a series of vacuum pumps. The remaining air is of the same thickness as at 200,000 feet above sea level. "This reduced drag so only the smallest amount of electricity is needed to achieve extraordinary speeds," says Hyperloop One, adding: "[This] creates a more cost- and energy-efficient system than high speed rail or airline transport."
Hyperloop One, the company says, will be "automated by the most advanced systems in the world, allowing a safe and efficient journey that's never delayed or overbooked".
Hyperloop One says its system will "fundamentally change the way we travel, work and live."