The futuristic transport concept, Virgin Hyperloop gave the first ride on its test track Sunday in Las Vegas.
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin group, said, “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”.
A hyperloop transportation system will allow people to travel in a vehicle in vacuum tube at speeds as high as 600 mph. Virgin’s system includes magnetic levitation. Magnetic levitation lifts a train car above a track and magnets also propel the train as like poles repel and push the train forward, and the opposite poles attract and pull the train forward. Magnetic levitation has been used on some train systems since the 1970s.
According to the company, Virgin Hyperloop’s pod only reached 100 mph on the track, rather than the 600 mph. Virgin Hyperloop says currently its track is only 500 meters long that limits how fast the pods can go. Josh Giegel, Virgin Hyperloop’s Chief Technology Officer, and Sara Luchian, its Director of Passenger Experience, took the first ride. They sat in Virgin Hyperloop’s two-person pod, which includes seat belts, plush seats, and small windows.
Hyperloop systems can run either above ground or below ground, but so far, the company has focused on above-ground projects because below ground can be time consuming and expensive.
Virgin Hyperloop still needs to raise enough money for its next project. Walder said that pods at the facility would not reach 600mph. The test facility is being built to certify Virgin Hyperloop’s technology.
The project, which has spent years in development, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced a concept for such a system in 2013.
Giegel, co-founded Virgin Hyperloop said, “Today, we took one giant leap toward that ultimate dream, not only for me, but for all of us who are looking towards a moonshot right here on Earth”.
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