Creating a history in the world of transportation, Virgin Hyperloop has successfully tested human travel in a hyperloop pod for the first time. Virgin Hyperloop became the first company to conduct a human test of the technology at its 500-meter test track in the desert north of Las Vegas.
— Virgin Hyperloop (@virginhyperloop) November 9, 2020
The test took place at the company’s DevLoop test track in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday and the first two passengers were Virgin Hyperloop’s CTO and co-founder Josh Giegel and director of passenger experience, Sara Luchian.
According to zdnet.com, There are two big differences between Hyperloop and traditional rail. Firstly, the pods carrying passengers travel through tubes or tunnels from which most of the air has been removed to reduce friction. This should allow the pods to travel at up to 750 miles per hour.
Secondly, rather than using wheels like a train or car, the pods are designed to float on air skis, using the same basic idea as an air hockey table, or use magnetic levitation to reduce friction.
The speed at which the hyperloop pod traveled was nearly 160 km per hour during the test but eventually, the goal is to make humans travel via these airless tubes at speeds of up to 1,223 km per hour.
— IANS Tweets (@ians_india) November 9, 2020
“For the past few years, the Virgin Hyperloop team has been working on turning its groundbreaking technology into reality,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group.
“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”.
big hyperloop news today: two employees of Virgin Hyperloop rode in one of the company’s pods today, traveling 100 mph down a 500-meter tube, in the first human test of the ultra-fast system https://t.co/nOjpDrLTmu pic.twitter.com/FWv282RfwQ
— Andrew J. Hawkins 🚇🚌🚲🛴 (@andyjayhawk) November 9, 2020
Hyperloop is a new transport mode under development to enable high-speed movement of hundreds of people and goods at a time in floating pods through tubes or tunnels above or below the ground.
The test took place at Virgin Hyperloop’s 500-meter DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, where the company has previously run over 400 unoccupied tests.
“I can’t tell you how often I get asked ‘is hyperloop safe?,’” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop.
“With today’s passenger testing, we have successfully answered this question, demonstrating that not only can Virgin Hyperloop safely put a person in a pod in a vacuum environment but that the company has a thoughtful approach to safety which has been validated by an independent third party”.
The occupants made their maiden voyage on the newly-unveiled XP-2 vehicle, designed by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and Kilo Design, which was custom-built with occupant safety and comfort in mind.
Huge congrats to the entire @virginhyperloop team for making history today and my co-founder @jgiegel and Sara Luchian for being the first humans to travel on a Hyperloop. Onwards and forward at ludicrous speed! https://t.co/qye5TXkKAT
— Shervin (@shervin) November 9, 2020
While the production vehicle will be larger and seat up to 28 passengers, the two-seater XP-2 vehicle was built to demonstrate that passengers can in fact safely travel in a hyperloop vehicle.
Virgin hyperloop was founded in 2014 to make Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a futuristic transportation system.
Last month, Virgin Hyperloop unveiled West Virginia as the location for the Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC).