The test ride lasted 15 seconds and reached over 100 mph
Transportation can celebrate a new milestone — a hyperloop pod was successfully tested with first passengers onboard, pointing the way to a more sustainable form of travel.
Virgin Hyperloop, which uses magnetic levitation, has completed its first human test ride in the Nevada desert. Aboard the new mode of transportation were just two passengers: Josh Giegel, Virgin co-founder and chief technology officer, and Sara Luchian, director of passenger experience.
The journey lasted 15 seconds and with a speed of 107 mph (172 kph), the levitating vehicle traveled a third of a mile at the manufacturer’s 500-meter test site known as DevLoop. Prior to the human trial, Virgin had completed over 400 unoccupied tests.
A hyperloop production vehicle is planned to reach speeds of 600 mph (nearly 1,000 kph) or faster
— Virgin Hyperloop (@virginhyperloop) November 9, 2020
Giegel and Luchian traveled in a two-seater XP-2 designed by BIG — Bjarke Ingels Group and Kilo Design. The actual production vehicle will be larger with a capacity of up to 28 passengers as well as for cargo.
The floating pod moves through a near-vacuum tunnel almost noiselessly. Virgin aims at speeds of 670 mph in the future which would surpass the average cruising speed of a commercial aircraft.
“When we started in a garage over 6 years ago, the goal was simple — to transform the way people move,” said Josh Giegel.
“Today, we took one giant leap toward that ultimate dream, not only for me, but for all of us who are looking towards a moonshot right here on Earth.”
“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,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Virgin Hyperloop and group chairman and CEO of DP World, who watched the test first-hand.
“We are one step closer to ushering in a new era of ultra-fast, sustainable movement of people and goods.”
Virgin wants to obtain a safety certification by 2025 and start commercial operations by 2030.