Cyprus Mail
Business International

Branson readies Hyperloop — world’s fastest cargo transport

Hyperloop All Cutaway
Hyperloop uses magnetic levitation to obtain high speeds.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop has completed the world’s first passenger ride on a super high-speed levitating pod system, the company said on Sunday, a key safety test for technology it hopes will transform human and cargo transportation.

Virgin Hyperloop executives Josh Giegel, its Chief Technology Officer, and Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience, reached speeds of up to 107 miles per hour (172 km per hour) at the company’s DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, Nevada, the company said.

“I had the true pleasure of seeing history made before my very eyes,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop and Group Chairman and Chief Executive of DP World.

In a hyperloop system, which uses magnetic levitation to allow near-silent travel, a trip between New York and Washington would take just 30 minutes. That would be twice as fast as a commercial jet flight and four times faster than a high-speed train.

The company has previously run over 400 tests without human passengers at the Nevada site.

The company is working toward safety certification by 2025 and commercial operations by 2030, it has said.

 

To be sure, the pod didn’t reach the hyperloop’s theoretical maximum speed of 760 mph. Virgin Hyperloop projects that with enough track it can eventually get up to 670 mph — but the company’s record to date is 240 mph, which it hit in 2017.

Canada’s Transpod and Spain’s Zeleros also aim to upend traditional passenger and freight networks with similar technology they say will slash travel times, congestion and environmental harm linked with petroleum-fueled machines.

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