Futuristic transportation concept now called ‘Virgin Hyperloop One’.
Hyperloop One has rebranded itself as Virgin Hyperloop One after Richard Branson’s Virgin group bets that magnetically propelled underground transport will be successful.
While the amount invested by Branson into Hyperloop one has not been disclosed, the fact remains that it was a significant enough figure to warrant having the word ‘Virgin’ appended to its name.
Hyperloop One is currently the frontrunner of a number of competing companies competing the futuristic vision of a magnetically-propelled high-speed transport system to life. “This is an incredibly innovative and exciting new way to move people and things at airline speeds on the ground,” Branson said in a statement.
The investment hasn’t come out of nowhere, however. Two of Hyperloop One’s co-founders, executive chairman Shervin Pishevar and president of engineering Josh Giegel, are known to Branson, having both previously worked at Virgin Galactic, Branson’s commercial space passenger project.
“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 quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag. We’re incredibly excited about the technology behind Virgin Hyperloop One and the way it could transform passengers’ lives,” continued Branson.
The science of the past
The Hyperloop has been conceptualized by numerous scientists and works of science fiction over the years, but it only really began to gain traction in 2013, when the billionaire behind Tesla cars, Elon Musk and his SpaceX rocket business, released a 57 page “open source” document detailing plans for a transport system that could carry travellers from San Francisco to LA in a matter of minutes.
Initially, Musk said he would leave the building of Hyperloop systems to others, but in July, Mr Musk said he had received verbal approval to start building the systems that would link New York and Washington, cutting travel time to about half an hour.
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