Hyperloop is an unproven transportation system in which people travel on a vehicle in a vacuum tube at speeds as high as 600 miles per hour. Virgin’s system includes magnetic flight, as is used in advanced high-speed rail projects in Japan and Germany.
The magnetic force lifts a wagon onto the track, as the poles of the magnet push the carriage up. The magnets also propel the train like the poles that push and push the train forward, and the opposite poles suck and pull the train forward. Since the 1970s it has been used on a number of train systems.
According to the company, the Virgin Hyperloop case only hits 100 miles per hour on the track, instead of the 600 miles per hour that hyperloop backers have long promised. Virgin Hyperloop said its track is 500 meters long, limiting the speed of the trains.
However, Virgin Hyperloop executives see this experiment as an important milestone and a step towards the commercialization of hyperloop technology.
Josh Giegel, Chief Technology Officer at Virgin Hyperloop and Sara Luchian, the airline̵7;s Head of Passenger Experience, took the first ride. They sit in Virgin Hyperloop’s two-person cabin, which includes seat belts, plush seats and small windows.
Giegel told CNN Business that the hyperloop housings could travel at the speed of an aircraft but with a fraction of the energy consumed.
Virgin Hyperloop envisions building systems that connect cities. Giegel says that their future commercial systems will have spaces between 25 and 30 people. Giegel said Virgin Hyperloop is expected to carry tens of thousands of passengers per hour.
The Hyperloop system can run on the ground or ground, But so far the company is still focusing on ground-based projects. Digging underground tunnels can be time consuming and expensive.
The fences remain before a commercial hyperloop system is built. Virgin Hyperloop still needs to raise enough money for its next project, a $ 500 million, six-mile test facility in West Virginia. Walder says pods at the facility won’t hit 600mph, but declined to share their speed. The test facility is being built to certify Virgin Hyperloop’s technology.
Walder believes the company’s hyperloop system will be certified by 2025 or 2026 and we could see hyperloop projects before the decade ends.
Virgin Hyperloop was founded as Hyperloop Technologies in 2014. Richard Branson joined the board of directors in 2017, and the name of the company was later changed.