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Hyperloop closer to reality with new investment 19 Oct 2017

Hyperloop One News Release

With a track record of innovation in the transportation industry, Richard Branson joins the Board of Directors for Hyperloop One as his Virgin Group add investment to bring the high speed travel system a step closer to realisation.

Richard Branson (centre) with Hyperloop One co-founders
Richard Branson (centre) with Hyperloop One co-founders

The Virgin Group and Hyperloop One will develop a global strategic partnership to focus on passenger and mixed-use cargo services and as part of the partnership, the company name will change to Virgin Hyperloop One. Virgin have been at the forefront of transportation innovation for more than 20 years and are committed to sustainable modes of transport.

Hyperloop One is the only company so far to have built a fully operational hyperloop after a number of full system tests at the DevLoop site in Nevada USA and are experiencing growing demand from government and private sector around the world and already have projects underway to develop the system in the UAE, US, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, and India.

Although Hyperloop One will retain control of all engineering and development, product and system design, business development, and strategy, the addition of Virgin with its 53 million customers will undoubtedly add strength to the project.

The test site in Nevada, USA
The test site in Nevada, USA

With Virgin Hyperloop One, passengers and cargo will be loaded into a pod, and accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The pod will quickly lift above the track using magnetic levitation and glide at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag.

“We are excited about the technology behind Virgin Hyperloop One and the way it could transform passengers’ lives,” said Branson. “Since our creation, Virgin has been known for investing in innovative companies. From our airlines to our trains to our spaceline, we have long been passionate about innovation in transport as well. This is just the latest example. Importantly, Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuing it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport too.”

Branson will be working with Hyperloop One co-founders Shervin Pishevar, Executive Chairman and Josh Giedel, President of Engineering and their executive team.

Travel at 0 to 60mph in 1.85 seconds
Travel at 0 to 60mph in 1.85 seconds

Although hyperloop has been widely publicised through the work of Elon Musk and his SpaceX tests, hyperloop technology has been explicitly open-sourced and others have been encouraged to take the ideas and further develop them.

The technology for Hyperloop One is still in the early stages of the commercialisation phase but during phase two of testing, the hyperloop ran for 10.6 seconds, with a top speed of 310kmh or 86m per second. The maximum distance travelled was 436m with a peak acceleration of 1.48 Gs, equal to 0 to 60mph in 1.85 seconds.

The total DevLoop tube length is 500m with a diameter of 3.3m. Projected journey times in the UK include Edinburgh to London in 50 minutes.

Hyperloop One will work with a number of operators globally, including Virgin.

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