Don’t count your chickens before they’re accelerated at 1,200km an hour down a modified railgun through a vacuum tube
The future of transportation is here! Deep in the Nevada desert on Wednesday morning, a linear accelerator propelled a small sled along a purpose-built test track to a speed of almost 187km/h in just over a second. It may just be a very early test but, the assembled media assured us, it means that the Hyperloop – the utopian transport system first mooted by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk – in 2013 is one step closer to reality.
Except, well, it doesn’t. The test shows that Hyperloop One has reached the technological heights of a 1996-era rollercoaster when it comes to its propulsion systems, but does nothing to calm very real doubts that the company will be able to deliver what it promises, when it promises, for the price it promises.