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First Passengers Travel Safely on Hyperloop – Virgin’s new transport system

“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, according to a press statement.

Branson added that with the successful test, they have shown that this spirit of innovation will in fact change the way people everywhere live, work, and travel in the years to come.”

The Hyperloop is a futuristic transport concept where a train which is suspended by magnetic systems runs in a vacuum tube at high speeds.

And for the first time on November 8, 2020 in the Nevada desert, human passengers travelled safety in a hyperloop pod, according to Virgin Hyperloop in a press statement.

In the trial, two passengers – Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience – travelled the length of a 500m test track in 15 seconds, reaching 172km/h.

The test took place at Virgin Hyperloop’s 500 meter DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, where the company has previously run over 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, which was custom-built with occupant safety and comfort in mind. 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 in fact safely travel in a hyperloop vehicle.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop, watched this historic passenger testing first-hand.

Images & Videos Courtesy of Virgin Hyperloop

“I had the true pleasure of seeing history made before my very eyes – to witness the first new mode of mass transportation in over 100 years come to life,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop and Group Chairman and CEO of DP World. “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. We are one step closer to ushering in a new era of ultra-fast, sustainable movement of people and goods.”

The testing campaign, from the beginning stages all the way through to today’s successful demonstration, was overseen by the industry-recognized Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) Certifer. Having undergone a rigorous and exhaustive safety process, the XP-2 vehicle demonstrates many of the safety-critical systems that will be found on a commercial hyperloop system and is equipped with a state-of-the-art control system that can detect off-nominal states and rapidly trigger appropriate emergency responses.

“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.”

By Editorial Team / October 1, 2020

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