Virgin Hyperloop has just tested human travel in a hyperloop pod for the first time in the Nevada desert.
Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience, were the first people in the world to ride on this new form of transportation. The test took place at Virgin Hyperloop’s 500 meter DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, where the company has previously run 400 un-occupied tests.
The occupants made their maiden voyage on the newly-unveiled XP-2 vehicle, designed by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and Kilo Design. While the production vehicle will be larger and seat up to 28 passengers, this 2-seater XP-2 vehicle was built to demonstrate that passengers can safely travel in a hyperloop vehicle.
“When we started in a garage over 6 years ago, the goal was simple – to transform the way people move,” said Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Virgin Hyperloop. “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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Last month, Virgin Hyperloop unveiled West Virginia as the location for the Hyperloop Certification Center. In July 2020, the US Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation TechnologyCouncil unveiled the guidance document on a clear regulatory framework for hyperloop in the United States. This announcement provides a pathway for hyperloop regulation and deployment in the US, and establishes hyperloop’s eligibility for federal funding for projects.