Elon Musk’s hyperloop “pusher pod” broke a new record on Wednesday, reaching a top speed of 355km/h (220mph) at SpaceX’s one mile long hyperloop test track near Los Angeles.
Tests of prototype carriages or pods were carried out by student teams last week in a competition to achieve top speed on the test track.
WARR Hyperloop Pod, designed by Technical University of Munich (Germany), won the student competition and reached a maximum speed of 324 km/h.
Once the prototype testing event was over, the hyperloop team let a Tesla/SpaceX “pusher pod” travel down the tunnel test track by itself – the pusher pod was used to get some of the prototypes moving down the track during the tests.
When the Tesla/SpaceX pusher pod travelled by itself through the tunnel test track it reached a record speed of 355 km/h (220 mph) before things started burning.
In an Instagram post, Mr Musk said:
We took the SpaceX/Tesla Hyperloop pusher pod for a spin by itself a few days ago to see what it could do when not pushing student pods (some need a push to get going, e.g. passive maglev). Got up to 355 km/h (220 mph) before things started 🔥. Kind of like racing with a tugboat. Maybe able get past 500 km/h (about half speed of sound) next month with a few tweaks or maybe tiny pieces …
Hyperloop is a transport system that uses a custom electric motor to propel a pod-like vehicle through a low-pressure tube.
Elon Musk has described the concept as “a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table”.
SpaceX has organized Hyperloop Pod Competitions at its track “to accelerate the development of functional prototypes and encourage innovation by challenging teams to design and build the best high-speed pod.”
It should be noted that SpaceX “has no affiliation with any Hyperloop companies, including, but not limited to, those frequently referenced by the media.”