Creating a history in the world of transportation, Virgin Hyperloop has successfully tested human travel in a Hyperloop pod for the first time.
The test took place at the company’s DevLoop test track in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday and first two passengers were Virgin Hyperloop’s CTO and co-founder Josh Giegel and director of passenger experience, Sara Luchian.
The speed at which the Hyperloop pod traveled was nearly 160 km per hour during the test but eventually, the goal is to make humans travel via these airless tubes at speeds of up to 1,223 km per hour.
“For the past few years, the Virgin Hyperloop team has been working on turning its ground breaking technology into reality,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group.
“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”.
Hyperloop is a new transport mode under development to enable high-speed movement of hundreds of people and goods at a time in floating pods through tubes or tunnels above or below the ground.
The test took place at Virgin Hyperloop’s 500 meter DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, where the company has previously run over 400 unoccupied tests.
“I can’t tell you how often I get asked ‘Is Hyperloop safe?’” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop.
“With today’s passenger testing, we have successfully answered this question, demonstrating that not only can Virgin Hyperloop safely put a person in a pod in a vacuum environment, but that the company has a thoughtful approach to safety which has been validated by an independent third party”.
The occupants made their maiden voyage on the newly-unveiled XP-2 vehicle, designed by BIG e Bjarke Ingels Group and Kilo Design, which was custom-built with occupant safety and comfort in mind.
While the production vehicle will be larger and seat up to 28 passengers, the two-seater XP-2 vehicle was built to demonstrate that passengers can in fact safely travel in a Hyperloop vehicle.
Virgin Hyperloop was founded in 2014 to make Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a futuristic transportation system.
Last month, Virgin Hyperloop unveiled West Virginia as the location for the Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC).