The first passengers traveled safely on the Virgin Hyperloop in Las Vegas this past Sunday.
The hyperloop is a new form of transportation that allows people to travel in a vacuum tube at speeds as high as 600 mph. Magnetic levitation lifts a train car above a track while magnets push the train upward. So far, the hyperloop has only reached 100 mph on the track rather than the 600 mph it’s allegedly capable of.
This weekend, Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Sarah Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience, were the first people to test out the hyperloop.
Giegel and Luchian tested out the new XP-2 vehicle, custom-built to allow for maximum occupant safety and comfort. Ultimately the vehicle will be able to seat up to 28 passengers, but this initial demonstration was simply intended to show how passengers can travel safely inside a hyperloop.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop, said, “I had the true pleasure of seeing history made before my very eyes — to witness the first new mode of mass transportation in over 100 years come to life. I have always had tremendous faith in the team at Virgin Hyperloop to transform this technology into a safe system, and today we have done that. We are one step closer to ushering in a new era of ultra-fast, sustainable movement of people and goods.”
Despite the successful test, it’s not ready for public unveiling just yet. More testing must take place over the next few years to improve performance and safety, but the company hopes it will be certified for use in 2025 or 2026.
Virgin isn’t the only company experimenting with this technology. Elon Musk is currently building “Loop” in Las Vegas and is planning to build a hyperloop tunnel from Washington, DC, to New York to make the trip possible in just 29 minutes. Across the Atlantic, the Hardt Hyperloop is a proposed project between Amsterdam and Paris, connecting the two cities in just 90 minutes.