LAS VEGAS, May 12, 2016 (Xinhua) -- A recovery vehicle and a test sled sit on rails after a propulsion open-air test of Hyperloop One's transportation technology, in Nevada, U.S. May 11, 2016. Hyperloop One stages the first public demonstration of a key component of the startup's futuristic rail transit concept that could one day ferry passengers at near supersonic speeds. (Xinhua/Guo Shuang)
LAS VEGAS, May 12, 2016 (Xinhua) -- A recovery vehicle and a test sled sit on rails after a propulsion open-air test of Hyperloop One's transportation technology, in Nevada, U.S. May 11, 2016. Hyperloop One stages the first public demonstration of a key component of the startup's futuristic rail transit concept that could one day ferry passengers at near supersonic speeds. (Xinhua/Guo Shuang)

On Wednesday morning, dozens of investors, partners and media representatives assembled on metal risers watched a test vehicle rocket along a straight track, which is built by a Los Angeles-based startup Hyperloop One.

LAS VEGAS, May 12, 2016 (Xinhua) -- A recovery vehicle and a test sled sit on rails after a propulsion open-air test of Hyperloop One's transportation technology, in Nevada, U.S. May 11, 2016. Hyperloop One stages the first public demonstration of a key component of the startup's futuristic rail transit concept that could one day ferry passengers at near supersonic speeds. (Xinhua/Guo Shuang)
LAS VEGAS, May 12, 2016 (Xinhua) — A recovery vehicle and a test sled sit on rails after a propulsion open-air test of Hyperloop One’s transportation technology, in Nevada, U.S. May 11, 2016. Hyperloop One stages the first public demonstration of a key component of the startup’s futuristic rail transit concept that could one day ferry passengers at near supersonic speeds. (Xinhua/Guo Shuang)

That is the first public peek at what engineers are calling a “propulsion open-air test” (POAT) of Hyperloop One’s transportation technology, which will potentially change the future of transit along the way.

“Today we demonstrated the full-scale propulsion system, which is actually a component that will go into the full scale system we build here in north Las Vegas this year,” CEO Rob Lloyd told Xinhua, “This was actually a very major technical achievement.”

During the about five seconds’ test, “the test vehicle went from 0 to 60 mph in about one second, generating a force of about 2.5 Gs,” Josh Giegel, the company’s senior vice president of Engineering told Xinhua.

The company is competing to turn the Hyperloop concept, envisioned Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, into a reality. The idea is to put people into special pods that move at more than 1,126 km per hour inside a partially pressurized enclosed track.

At the end of last year, Hyperloop One acquired the land in the U.S. state of Nevada to start building a complete prototype, which Lloyd estimates will be ready by the end of 2016. What Lloyd referred to as the startup’s “Kitty Hawk moment,” alluding to the Wright Brothers’ famous first flight, will happen when the full-size Hyperloop prototype is ready.

CTO and CoFounder of Hyperloop One Brogan BamBrogan said to people in attendance: “Everything you see out here today has happened in 6 months.” The company now reaches more than 150 employees split between its Los Angeles headquarters and the test facility in North Las Vegas.

Lloyd called his company “the one that can deliver Hyperloop first,” which “will make it possible to be anywhere, move anything, and connect everyone.”

On the eve of the test, the company announced that it will change its name from Hyperloop Technologies to Hyperloop One, to distinguish itself from another Los Angeles-based Hyperloop competitor — Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Just two days ago, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced a licensing technology called “passive magnetic levitation” to power its own prototype. But Hyperloop One seems to be jumping ahead with an actual test of its technology and more funding.

The rebranded company also announced it has successfully raised another 80 million U.S. dollars from the second round of financing to build Hyperloop and unveiled its new global partner ecosystem, featuring some of the world leaders in transportation engineering, architecture, infrastructure strategy and financing, construction and operations.

“We are unified together with our partners,” Lloyd said to Xinhua, “we would like to see that happen in China and we will continue to reach out to our friends in China as well.”

Musk’s original idea was a Hyperloop train system that would be able to make the journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 35 minutes. Hyperloop One is looking beyond just California, and past human cargo.

“I think Hyperloop is the next mode of transportation. I think it’s going to change so many things so businesses can grow, economies can flourish and communities can thrive,” CEO Lloyd said.

Source: Xinhua

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