The world of Elon Musk-imagined levitating super trains that fly through tubes is finally a little bit less confusing. Today Hyperloop Technologies changed its name to Hyperloop One. The new moniker should help reduce any mix-ups with competing company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT). More importantly, the company is ready to publicly demo its propulsion system.
Tomorrow, the outift formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies will show off its propulsion system in the Nevada Desert outside of north of Las Vegas. The company says that it can currently hit 400 MPH along an open-air test track but is shooting for 700 MPH within the confines of a vacuum-sealed Hyperloop tube. CTO and Co-founder Brogan BamBrogan said that the company would have a full system, full-scale test (a pod racing through a tube) by the end of 2016.
During a presentation in Las Vegas the company also announced Hyperloop One partnerships both in the private and public sector. Probably the most important of those is the state of Nevada. In a statement, Nevada governor Brian Sandoval said, "we believe that Hyperloop One will develop the next mode of transportation while also providing a significant revenue stream and job opportunities for Nevadans."
Because the Hyperloop community loves competition, the company revealed that it's starting the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. It says the event will be an "opportunity for individuals, companies and governments to develop competitive proposals for using the first Hyperloop One solutions on transport corridors in their regions." Proposals are due on September 15th, with the winners set to be announced in March 2017.
At the event the company also announced that it's taking part in studies to see if routes are feasible in Finland, Norway and between the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.
But again, the real news is tomorrow's open-air test of its propulsion system. All the partnerships and competitions in the world won't matter if the Hyperloop One can't get its pods through the tubes. While the chances of confusing it with its rival Hyperloop Transportation Technologies have been reduced thanks to the new name, there's still competition between the two endeavors. Yesterday, HTT announced that it will use the government-developed Inductrack levitation system. It will be partnering with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to bring the passive magnetic system to its pods.
If successful, Hyperloop One is looking beyond passengers to cargo. BamBrogan even hypothesized the potential of moving an entire port offshore and using underwater Hyperloop tracks and pods to move goods from ships to the land. This would expand the company's idea to put tubes underwater along the shoreline.
We'll be covering the Hyperloop One propulsion test tomorrow. Stay tuned for further coverage.