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Hyperloop One: New name, same goal

On the eve of an open-air demonstration of its propulsion system, the company previously known as Hyperloop Technologies changes its name.

The company formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies is now called Hyperloop One.

On Tuesday, the company marked its progress toward building a full-scale hyperloop with the unexpected moniker switch. The name change comes just before Hyperloop One, which received $80 million in a second round of funding, readies to showcase its propulsion system in a open-air test just outside of Las Vegas on Wednesday.

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Hyperloop One's testing site outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hyperloop One

Hyperloop technology, which proposes using passengers pods pushed at nearly the speed of sound, was thrust into the public spotlight when Tesla's Elon Musk issued a 58-page report on its potential in August 2013. Unfortunately, the guy has been too busy to dedicate time to the project.

Don't confuse Hyperloop One with its competitor, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

HTT is expected to begin construction of a full-scale track across a 5-mile section of California's Central Valley in the near future. The company will use passive magnetic levitation technology as a propulsion system.

Folks following hyperloop technology have been expecting one to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco, reducing a six-hour drive to a mere 30 minutes. Still, the technology will debut in Europe first. Feasibility studies are currently underway in Sweden, Finland and Switzerland.

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Hyperloop One is also hoping to streamline cargo transportation between the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Think you can help make the hyperloop a reality? Individuals, companies and governments can compete in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge by designing transportation systems that use Hyperloop One technology. No word on what the prize is, but other science competitions like the Breakthrough Prize award millions of dollars annually.

Deadline for entry is September 15, 2016, with the winner being announced in March 2017.