Virgin Hyperloop backed by billionaire Richard Branson’s money successfully flung two humans sitting in a pod across inside vacuum tubes at nearly 172 kilometers per hour on Sunday afternoon.
Virgin Hyperloop the only company on the planet to have successfully tested this technology so far. And the company’s CTO, Josh Geigel, and Director of Passenger Experience Sara Luchian were the first two people to experience the new form of ultra-fast transport.
In the trial two passengers travelled the length of a 500m test track in 15 seconds in the Nevada desert.
Ms Luchian said the journey was smooth and “not at all like a rollercoaster” although the acceleration was “zippier” than it would be with a longer track. Neither of them felt sick, she added.
She said that their speed was hampered by the length of the track and acceleration required. Virgin’s ambition to cruise at speeds of more than 1000 kilometers per hour.
The concept has spent years in development, builds on a proposal by Tesla founder Elon Musk. Some critics have described it as science fiction.
It is based on the world’s fastest magnetic levitation (maglev) trains, then made faster by speeding along inside vacuum tubes. The Maglev train speed world record was set in 2015 when a Japanese train reached 374mph in a test run near Mount Fuji.
Founded in 2014, Virgin Hyperloop received investment from the Virgin Group in 2017. It was previously known as Hyperloop One and Virgin Hyperloop One.
The company hopes to set up infrastructure in Los Angeles, London, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and many more.