Days later, SpaceX – Elon Musk’s company that the Hyperloop idea was spun out from – decided to send its ‘pusher pod’ down the test track on its own. The pusher pod’s role is to launch some of the prototypes down the track.
Running by itself, the pusher pod set a new record of 220mph. SpaceX and Tesla founder, Elon Musk said that improvements to the test track could push the speed to 310mph – nearly half the speed of sound – within the next month.
Eventually, Musk wants the Hyperloop system to partner into his Boring Company, which plans to build tunnels in California. There’s also been talk of a Hyperloop to get people from Washington D.C. to New York City and back. That 225-mile journey would take just 29 minutes.
In the announcement via Twitter, Musk said “just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins.” He also noted that it would be “city center to city center in each case, with up to a dozen or more entry/exit elevators in each city.”
Currently, Hyperloop One is partnering with Dubai and Abu Dhabi to make the 99-mile trek in just 12 minutes via hyperloop pods.
The series of tests this week suggest the technology is close to the top speed at which existing terrestrial transport technology can travel.
Earlier this month, China’s high-speed ‘Fuxing’ bullet trains made their debut on the Beijing to Shanghai line, travelling at speeds of about 217mph. The operator is also looking to upgrade the tracks to let them travel at speeds approaching 250mph.