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Virgin Hyperloop pod tests first ever journey with passengers

virgin hyperloop passengers

Virgin Hyperloop has trialled its first ever journey with passengers in a Hyperloop pod, making transportation history in the desert of Nevada.

Josh Giegel and Sara Luchian, who are both staff of Virgin Hyperloop, were the first passengers to ride the futuristic form of transportation.

“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.”

The test took place at Virgin Hyperloop’s 500-metre DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, where the company has previously run more than 400 unoccupied tests.

Hyperloop test took place at DevLoop in Las Vegas

“When we started in a garage over 6 years ago, the goal was simple – to transform the way people move,” said 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.”

Josh and Sara travelled in the custom-built, two-seater XP-2 vehicle, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Kilo Design.

“Hyperloop is about so much more than the technology. It’s about what it enables,” said Luchian, director of passenger experience for Virgin Hyperloop.

Passengers travelled in the XP-2 vehicle

“To me, the passenger experience ties it all together. And what better way to design the future than to actually experience it first-hand?”

The XP-2 vehicle underwent a rigorous and exhaustive safety process and demonstrates many of the safety-critical systems that will be found on a commercial Hyperloop system.

“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.”

Test is a key step towards commercial projects

According to a press release, the test will pave the way for the certification of Hyperloop systems around the world, and is a key step towards commercial projects.

Pavilion USA 2020 at Expo 2020 Dubai previously announced an official partnership with Virgin Hyperloop, which will premiere its Hyperloop ride experience at the event.

Images: Virgin Hyperloop

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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