British multinational Virgin Group has made a significant investment in Hyperloop One with the aim of forming a global partnership to further the development of the system.
The investment will see Hyperloop One rebrand itself as ‘Virgin Hyperloop One’ over the coming months, while Virgin Group founder Richard Branson will join the company's board of directors.
Hyperloop One co-founder and executive chairman Shervin Pishevar said: “For more than 20 years, Richard and Virgin have been at the forefront of transportation innovation, and a partnership with them feels like a natural fit.
“Virgin is an iconic brand, and having Richard as an ally will help strengthen our mission to spread Hyperloop One throughout the world.”
The new partnership will emphasise the development of passenger and mixed-use cargo services, and will also involve the creation of a new passenger division.
Hyperloop previously carried out a successful test at its test track ‘DevLoop’ in July, which saw its Hyperloop One XP-1 pod travel a distance of 500m in the Nevada desert in the US.
Commenting on the investment, Richard Branson said: “After visiting Hyperloop One’s test site in Nevada and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I am convinced this groundbreaking technology will change transportation as we know it and dramatically cut journey times.
“Virgin has been known for investing in and creating innovative companies over the years, and I look forward to making history together as we bring Hyperloop to the world as Virgin Hyperloop One.”
The Hyperloop One system involves the loading of passengers and cargo into a pod, which then travels through a low-pressure tube via electric propulsion.
The pod elevates above the track using magnetic levitation and is able to glide at high speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag.
A number of projects using the Hyperloop One system are currently under development in the UAE, US, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands and India.