The first and only full-scale Hyperloop test track in the world has been hiding in plain sight--if you know which Nevada highway to drive down. The white steel tube is hard to miss from the roadside. It was only a matter of time before one of our intrepid fans shared some bootleg photos on the Internet. It's better that we share them with you first. So, here they are, the first public images of our Development Loop, or DevLoop.
DevLoop was the result of many, many long days and nights spent by more than 150 Hyperloop One engineers, technicians and fabricators transforming what was a barren stretch of desert five months ago into a hive of activity. DevLoop is our proof of technology, a crucial test bed that will demonstrate our ability to accelerate a levitated pod at high speeds in a near-vacuum using our proprietary propulsion and control systems. We do plenty of component testing and simulation back at our Innovation Campus in Los Angeles, but there are many questions we can’t ask and answers we can’t get unless we run tests on real hardware at scale. Having DevLoop as an outdoor lab gives us a unique capability to test various levitation, propulsion, vacuum and control technologies. We will be running hundreds of different kinds of trials over the next months, and channeling all the insights we get into the next few generations of production Hyperloop One systems over the years to come.
The one-million-kilogram structure is nearly complete. The last few tube sections are being craned into place and welded, the vacuum pump is operational and installation of the track, linear motor and autonomous control systems are well underway.
Our “Kitty Hawk” moment of first flight is set to take place in the first half of this year. It’s not going to be a long trip for our test pod, but you know what they say about a small step for man. Once the first brand new mode of transportation in more than 100 years makes its maiden run, this stretch of scrubby Nevada desert (empty except for the tortoise friends we’ve adopted over the last few months) will stake a claim as a future national historic site.