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Hyperloop One raises funds, to test futuristic transport system this year

Updated: 2016-05-11 16:34

Hyperloop One raises funds, to test futuristic transport system this year

The conceptual design rendering of hyperloop passenger transport capsule. [Photo/IC]

The Hyperloop is a hypothetical mode of high-speed transportation proposed by the entrepreneur and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. Musk envisioned the system as a 'fifth mode' of transportation: an alternative to boats, aircraft, automobiles, and trains. The open source technology would, according to the initial "Alpha" design released on August 12, 2013, enable travel from the Los Angeles region to the San Francisco Bay Area in 35 minutes, meaning that passengers would traverse the proposed 569 kilometres (354 mi) route at an average speed of just under 962 km/h (598 mph), and a top speed of 1,223 km/h (760 mph). Pictured:

LAS VEGAS - Hyperloop One, a Los Angeles company working to develop the futuristic transportation technology, on Tuesday announced the closing of $80 million in financing and said it plans to conduct a full system test before the end of the year.

A hyperloop would whisk passengers and cargo in pods through a low pressure tube at speeds of up to 750 miles per hour (1,207 km per hour).

Maglev technology would levitate the pods to reduce friction in the city-to-city system, which would be fully autonomous and electric powered.

Hyperloop One builds off a design by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who has suggested it would be cheaper, faster and more efficient than high speed rail projects, including the one currently being built in California.

Speaking on the eve of the first demonstration test of the propulsion in the Las Vegas desert, Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd tried to dispel criticism that the technology is unproven and better suited for science fiction than practical use.

"It's real, it's happening now, and we're going to demonstrate how this company is making it happen," he said at a press conference.

He likened hyperloop technology to the emergence of the US railroad system and the era of prosperity it ushered in.

Lloyd also announced a competition to determine where the first Hyperloop One system should be built, with an announcement expected next year.

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