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November 9, 2020updated 10 Nov 2020 3:35am

Virgin Hyperloop conducts maiden test with passengers

Virgin Hyperloop, a US-based transportation technology company developing high-speed levitating pod system, has conducted the first test ride with passengers on-board.

Virgin Hyperloop, a US-based transportation technology company developing high-speed levitating pod system, has conducted the first test ride with passengers on-board.

Two company executives, namely Virgin Hyperloop co-founder and chief technology officer Josh Giegel and passenger experience director Sara Luchian, participated in the maiden ride.

The testing was conducted at the company’s 500m DevLoop test site in Las Vegas using a newly unveiled XP-2 vehicle designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Kilo Design.

This vehicle was specially developed to demonstrate that passengers can travel safely in a hyperloop vehicle.

According to a Reuters report, the test attained speeds of up to 107mph (172km/h).

The company has already conducted more than 400 unoccupied tests at the site.

Giegel said: “When we started in a garage over six years ago, the goal was simple – to transform the way people move.

“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.”

Virgin Hyperloop is working to develop a transportation system that will use electric propulsion and electromagnetic levitation under near-vacuum conditions to transport cargo and passengers.

The system envisages enabling journeys at speeds of more than 1,000km/h, which is three times faster than high-speed rail.

Last month, the company selected West Virginia for the Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC).

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson said: “For the past few years, the Virgin Hyperloop team has been working on turning its groundbreaking technology into reality.

“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.”

Virgin Hyperloop aims to secure safety certification by 2025 and launch commercial operations in 2030.

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