During a pre-test call with Engadget, a Virgin Hyperloop representative told us they were focusing much on safety, with the level of attention the cruise could cause. Both are passed through the tube and are shown the different exit points and procedures to ensure that, if everything fails, they can get out of the compartment. Hyperloop says the pair will be in regular contact with the company̵7;s console throughout the test.
The pair went in a brand new second generation Hyperloop pod, codenamed XP-2, “Pegasus Pod”. The XP-2 is designed to be comfortable to seat and to support two passengers. Both seats feature sturdy five-point seat belts, the kind you’ll find in a race car, but they’re the only modification used for the test. That’s because the pod is designed to mirror the real Hyperloop journey in as many ways as possible, and the real things are visualized more like a subway train than a rocket.
To maintain a comfortable experience for acceleration and braking, the capsule speed in this test is capped at 107 mph. That’s less than half the maximum speed of the pod in the tube, which maxed out at 240 miles per hour during the tests in late 2017. This was mostly down the length of the tube: 500 meters wasn’t long enough. to get the kind of speeds the company promises to get. But the greater speed is likely to be demonstrated when a second Hyperloop facility is built in West Virginia.
As a company representative told Engadget, “This is our moon landing.” Demonstrating that the shell is safe for humans is an important milestone in its journey. It can also encourage more investors and regulators to get involved in order to help the bank revolve at the next stage in its development.