Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop completed the world’s first passenger ride on a super-high-speed levitating pod system, a key safety test for the technology that he hopes will transform human and freight transportation.
Virgin Hyperloop executives Josh Giegel, its chief technology officer, and Sara Luchian, director of passenger experience, hit speeds of up to 107 mph (172 km / h) at the test site The company’s DevLoop in Las Vegas, Nevada, the company announced on Sunday. .
“I had the real pleasure of seeing history unfold before my eyes,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, President of Virgin Hyperloop and Group Chairman and CEO of DP World.
Los Angeles-based Hyperloop envisions a future where floating pods filled with passengers and cargo travel through vacuum tubes at 600 mph (966 km / h) or more.
In a hyperloop system, which uses magnetic levitation to allow near-silent travel, a trip between New York and Washington would take only 30 minutes. It would be twice as fast as a commercial jet flight and four times faster than a high speed train.
The company has already performed more than 400 tests without human passengers at the Nevada site.
The test comes a month after Reuters first announced that Virgin Hyperloop had chosen the U.S. state of West Virginia to host a $ 500 million certification center and a test track that would serve as a breeding ground. test for its technology.
The company is working on safety certification by 2025 and business operations by 2030, she said.
The Canadian Transpod and Spain’s Zeleros also aim to improve traditional passenger and freight networks with similar technology that they say will reduce travel times, congestion and environmental damage from petroleum machines.