Tesla's own Hyperloop pod sets record with 220 mph test run

Make no mistake, Elon Musk is now taking the commercialization of his Hyperloop idea very seriously. His Tesla-branded Hyperloop pod hit 220 mph (355 km/h), according to Musk, breaking the 201 mph speed record set by the students of team WARR at the Hyperloop Pod Competition earlier this week. Both records occurred at the 0.8-mile-long SpaceX Hyperloop test track that runs parallel to the company in Hawthorne California.

The Tesla pod, while fast, isn't anywhere near the supersonic speeds that Musk thinks are possible in the (near) vacuum of his test tube. And the mere 20 mph margin obtained by the Tesla pod makes the WARR accomplishment all the more impressive given the relatively tiny budget the students had to work with. Still, Musk thinks he can "get past 500 km/h (about half speed of sound) next month with a few tweaks or maybe tiny pieces," according to his Instagram post announcing the record.

Elon Musk first detailed the Hyperloop concept in a paper published in August, 2013, which called for aluminum pods capable of transporting human passengers at speeds up to 800 mph. At the time Musk said that the development of a prototype could take one or two years if it was his top priority. “But it's going to be pretty far from my top priority,” he said on a conference call, saying three or four years is more likely.


Is there anything this guy is not going to be doing..? I mean the next thing we will read is his Tesla-Hyperloop pods using the tunnels he is digging with The Boring Company..

This was already kind of announced in a boring company mock up video.

…on Mars

How could I have forgotten that.. Bet they would be powered by electricity generated by Solar City stored on Tesla batteries.. Now that is his Masterplan..

I think you mean 2013 and not 2003 in the article

GAH! fixed. thx.

Nice to he’s really thinking about it now. But I’m more interested to see how well the idea holds up once they get over 400mph.

Why 400mph as opposed to 300 or 500?

Musk’s referring to 500 kph. 400 mph is 644 kph.

It was honestly arbitrary on my part. Looking at today’s tech it seems like a lot of trains could do close to 300mph if they really wanted to, but are limited to about 220mph. So I figured "the next gen" should be trying to push at least 400 and fix the safety concerns that keep the current lines limited.

Speed is not the issue, the safety of a vacuum of that size is the main issue that nobody seems to care…

Partial vacuum. And if the seal breaks, depending on size of breach, air leaks in and, frankly, slows the pod down. Shouldn’t be explosive/implosive, I wouldn’t think.

Oh, you thought Musk’s space suits were just for actual space?

to have that issue, first you’ll need to actually build such a tunnel, which is prohibitly expensive if not impossible with current technology (the test track is half a mile, iirc. you need about 750 times that to cover LA-SF).

And the actual number of people the system can move. Hyperloop requires just as much if not more right of way as high speed rail. Traditional high speed rail can move 2,000 passenger trains every few minutes at 300mph. That’s a lot more than 5-10 person trains will ever achieve. You need about the same safe braking distance between trains.

Even if this thing only goes 500 kph, that would get commuters from Houston to San Antonio in less than 40 minutes, on to Austin in 15 minutes, and further to Dallas in another 40 minutes, looking at Hyperloop 1’s proposed H→SA→Aus→Dallas Texas Triangle. That makes living in one of the 4 cities and commuting to another for work, or a quick lunch trip on the weekends, far more possible.

Probably a long ways off, but a neat idea.

I feel really bad for the student teams who had been working on this – especially the previous record holders. Like losing a beauty contest to the organizers.

Im far more impressed that a university can keep pace with paid professionals.
They won’t want for career opportunities.

The student competition is basically just a feeder for future engineers at the new Hyperloop company Musk is certainly thinking of building.

No reason to feel bad. Records are meant to be broken.

The fact that students did world class work, with a tiny budget, anf could only be upstaged by pros says a lot.

They all have bright futures

Yeah, I find it so odd that Tesla would show this off literally the week after the students build the fastest one? Almost as if the students are being used as lab rats to improve their own one.

This is the same speed commercial trains have been running for many years. What’s the big deal?

Please do some research on this. This is an unfinished product in testing. The eventual goal is to hit 760mph. You can’t just jump up to speeds that high. It requires testing and development.

Think they’re criticizing the breathless coverage of an experimental train that travels slower than commercial options millions of people already use on a daily basis.

Then don’t read it. A lot of us want every update on the Hyperloop that we can get. I understand that it may be too expensive or may not even reach speeds of up to 760mph. But this is potentially technological progress and that interests a lot of us.

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