The last century has seen cars that spawned the birth of industrial society, trains that sprawled across the country and connected the coasts, and planes that could traverse hemispheres in a matter of hours. This rapid development and deep-seated desire to be faster and safer has engendered a transportation arms race, and we're the main beneficiaries. The Hyperloop combines the best of both worlds and offers jet-like speeds for the cost of a bus-fare. It looks like 2017 will see some major developments for the storied technology.
Hyperloop One conducts the first public test of a prototype propulsion system which could eventually transport people through tubes at the speed of sound. Held in Nevada on Wednesday, the custom-built sled accelerates to 116mph in 1.1 seconds. The idea for Hyperloop was first proposed by tech billionaire Elon Musk, but dropped in 2013.
A 31-year-old male driver briefly fell asleep at the controls of a commuter train traveling at 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph) in the Tokyo metropolitan area in September, the railway operator said Tuesday. Keikyu Corp. said the case came to light after a female passenger alerted the company by email that the driver appeared to be dozing on the train. According to Keikyu, the driver briefly slept while operating the limited express on the main line between Keikyu Kawasaki and Kanazawa-bunko stations, on Sept. 24. The driver admitted to falling asleep on duty, saying he felt sleepy several times while running the train on the section for 23 minutes. Keikyu said it plans to punish the driver.
One of the ways that Hyperloop One is working out which routes it wants to build is through its "Global Challenge" program. It is, essentially, an X-Factor style competition in which candidate cities and states can audition for the prize of getting to buy their own high-speed travel systems. Now, the company has announced which regions are in the running to be the first to get their own Hyperloop route. There are ten winners across five countries, and each proposal was judged by a panel of experts in infrastructure, transport and technology. Now, each one will be examined in extreme detail as Hyperloop One works out the best place to break ground on its first full-bodied line.