The first full test of the Hyperloop technology is scheduled to take place sometime within the next three months in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hyperloop One hopes to have a vehicle levitating and moving through a tube at some point in the first quarter of 2017, The Las Vegas Review Journal reported. The test will be groundbreaking not very exciting to watch.

The hope is to prove that the technology behind the Hyperloop works in the real world, Nick Earle, the company’s vice president for global field operations told The Review-Journal. Once the engineering is proved the company will build a demonstration Hyperloop tube that will be a few kilometers long.

Earle claimed that the cost of Hyperloop will be about half the price of high-speed rail. Since he provided no figures and there’s no fixed price for high speed rail that’s a hard claim to prove.

Not an Impressive Event

Hyperloop One wants to develop a fully autonomous vehicle that can be used for freight hauling. He also talked about door to door transportation which sounds impractical.

No specific date for the test has been scheduled. Most likely Hyperloop One wants to test the technology for several days or weeks before holding a public demonstration to make sure it works. Another reason to keep the media away is that the test itself will not be that exciting.

Even Earle himself admitted that, and noted that the Wright Brothers’ first flight was only 120 feet (36.5 meters) in length. It was not the length of the flight that was impressive but the proof of concept. That a heavier than air vehicle was capable of moving under its own power, something that many skeptics at the time doubted was capable.

So it looks as if we will see a milestone from Hyperloop in 2017 that might not be very impressive. Yet like the Wright Brothers’ flight it will go down in the history books by potentially ushering in a new age of transportation.

One has to wonder when the first passengers will take a ride in a Hyperloop. That might not be anytime soon, but it will be the first real test of the technology.

Hopefully such a success will attract more investment and attention to this technology. The world and America desperately need new methods of transportation. That goes doubly so for methods of transportation that are not powered by fossil fuels.

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