Story at a glance

  • A hyperloop is an unproven mode of transportation that involves moving a pod carrying passengers through a vacuum tube at speeds that exceed 600 miles per hour.
  • On Sunday, the company completed a low-speed test of the system with two passengers at a site in the Nevada desert.
  • The hyperloop pod transported the passengers at speeds reaching 107 miles per hour and took 15 seconds to clear a 500-meter test track.

Virgin Hyperloop successfully tested human travel in a hyperloop pod for the first time ever, the company announced

A hyperloop is an unproven mode of transportation that involves moving a pod carrying passengers through a vacuum tube at speeds that exceed 600 miles per hour. It uses magnetic levitation to propel the pod through the tunnel, similar to trains used in Japan and Germany. 


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On Sunday, the company completed a low-speed test of the system at a test site in the Nevada desert that included Josh Giegel, Virgin Hyperloop’s Chief Technology Officer, and Sara Luchian, the company’s Director of Passenger Experience. 

The hyperloop pod transported the two passengers at speeds reaching 107 miles per hour and took 15 seconds to clear a 500-meter test track, where the company has previously run more than 400 tests without passengers. 

“For the past few years, the Virgin Hyperloop team has been working on turning its ground breaking technology into reality,” Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, said in a statement. 

“With today’s successful test, we have shown that this spirit of innovation will in fact change the way people everywhere live, work, and travel in the years to come.” 

The passengers rode in an experimental pod built to demonstrate they can safely travel in a hyperloop vehicle, but Virgin Hyperloop is aiming to seat up to 28 passengers in future models. 

The company is hoping to one day build hyperloop systems that could shuttle passengers around the country at high speeds. In a hyperloop system, a trip between New York and Washington would theoretically take just 30 minutes

In 2013, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced the concept of such a hyperloop system. Musk’s The Boring Company has focused on building tunnels under cities for his proposed hyperloop transit systems.


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Published on Nov 09, 2020