LOS ANGELES, May 11 (UPI) -- Hyperloop technology enjoyed its first public test on Wednesday.
Hyperloop One, one of two L.A. startups developing the futuristic transportation technology envisioned by Elon Musk, tested its propulsion system in the Nevada desert.
The company successfully propelled a sled 100 yards. The sled accelerated at 2 g-force, maxing out at roughly half of Hyperloop's eventual top speed.
Hyperloop transportation, as conceived by Musk and the companies that hope to make good on his vision, consists of -- in theory -- a pod-like vehicle propelled through pressurized tubes at supersonic speeds.
The founders of Hyperloop One believe they're now well on their way to making that theory a reality. They said Wednesday's feat was their "Kitty Hawk moment," referring to the Wright Brothers and the site of their initial airplane tests.
"This is about validating the hardware and software," Brogan BamBrogan, company co-founder and chief technology officer, told USA Today. "We're aiming to hit 400 mph in two seconds. And by the end of the year hopefully we'll have a full test, with the sled in a tube accelerating with our custom propulsion."
Hyperloop One's rival in the race to realize high-speed tube travel, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, hopes to test their prototype by the end of the year.
Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd believes Hyperloop technology offers the best investment opportunity since the Internet.
It's an investment that Hyperloop One's leaders think could be made more easily in another country. On Tuesday, the company announced plans to develop the technology in Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.
Lloyd says troublesome terrain, expensive real estate and steep regulatory hurdles may prevent the first public Hyperloop track from being laid in California. Still, he believes the technology can transform transportation.
"The time is right to bring new thinking to old problems and harness new technologies and services to make a quantum leap in transportation," Lloyd told the Los Angeles Times Wednesday.