Virgin Hyperloop is an American company dedicated to commercializing high-speed transportation technology. It was originally founded in 2014 before being renamed and reorganized in 2017. The firm has announced that it has successfully tested its ultra-fast transportation system with human passengers for the first time ever.
The test was conducted at the company’s test track in the desert at Las Vegas, Nevada. The first test passengers were Virgin Hyperloop’s Chief Technology Officer Josh Giegel and Head of Passenger Experience Sara Luchian.
The two were strapped into Pegasus, the company’s white and red hyperloop pod that uses electric propulsion and magnetic levitation to glide through a low-pressure tube. They were transferred into an airlock as the air inside the enclosed vacuum tube was removed. The pod started off at a modest 160 km/h down the track before coming to a stop, though it is equipped to go much faster than that.
CEO of Virgin Hyperloop Jay Walder said:
No one has done anything close to what we’re talking about right now. This is a full scale, working hyperloop that is not just going to run in a vacuum environment, but is going to have a person in it. No one has come close to doing it.
The Pegasus is a scaled-down version of a full-sized transportation pod that the company hopes will one day carry up to 23 passengers. The interior is well equipped to make passengers comfortable enough to ride a pod slingshotting through a vacuum-sealed tube at the speed of a commercial jet.
The US government is yet to approve an official project for the Virgin Hyperloop, an operation that would cost billions of dollars. Regardless, the team is definitely a step closer to bringing the futuristic transportation system to reality.