The Virgin Group Invests In Hyperloop One
The Next Breakthrough In Transport
The Virgin investment group has taken an undisclosed major stake in Hyperloop One. Virgin’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, is joining the Los Angeles-based firm's board as part of the deal, and the company is rebranding itself as Virgin Hyperloop One.
The concept behind the revolutionary transport system was first conceived in 2012 by Elon Musk. It works by propelling pods through tubes using magnets reaching speeds akin to those of airplanes. Since then, this Hyperloop concept has been explicitly open-sourced by Musk and SpaceX to encourage others to take the ideas and further develop them as Virgin Hyperloop One has done.
Virgin’s envisions its technology will allow passengers and cargo to be loaded into a pod that accelerates gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The pod would then quickly be lifted above the track using magnetic levitation and glide at airline speeds. The company suggested the system could eventually cut journey times from Edinburgh to London to 50 minutes
Virgin Hyperloop One is not the only company making major advances in developing the technology. In July, Musk said his tunnel-digging firm, The Boring Company, received "verbal" approval from governments to begin digging a tunnel for a hyperloop from New York to Washington, D.C. Others such as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is also in talks with governments in Asia and Europe about building its own system.