In the desert of Nevada, Virgin Hyperloop Pod is being trialed for the first time with passengers.
One of the future transport concepts includes pods carrying passengers inside the vacuum tubes.
And in the first-ever trial, it carried two company staff as passengers and covered a distance of 500m test track just in 15 seconds with a speed of 107mph or 172 km/h. However, it was only a part of Virgin’s target of traveling with a speed of more than 1000km/h. Many other companies are also working on this concept, but Virgin Hyperloop is the first to carry passengers.
After the trial, Sara Luchian, director of the customer experience and one of the two passengers, shared her experience with BBC. She said, “it was exhilarating both physically and mentally.”
The event was arranged on Sunday afternoon, outside of Las Vegas, where Sara Luchian and chief technology officer Josh Giegel came there with simple fleeces and jeans rather than flight suits. At the event, Ms. Luchian defined the journey comfortably. She said the trip was “not at all rollercoaster” even though acceleration was “dashing” compared to the longer track and confirmed that both of the passengers are ok and not feeling sick. She said that length of track and required acceleration are the two factors that affect the speed.
This concept was built on the proposal of Elon Musk, founder of Tesla. And has gone through several years of development. The hyperloop travel concept was bottomed on the concept of the world’s fastest magnetic levitation trains or maglev trains. Which has built a world record in 2015, where a Japanese train hit the speed of 374 mph at a trial near Mount Fuji. However, vacuum tubes are used with the concept of maglev trains to make the speed faster.
Virgin Hyperloop was founded in 2014, and later in 2017, it got an investment from Virgin Group; before this, it was known by the name Hyperloop One and Virgin Hyperloop One.
In 2018 at a BBC interview, Rob Lloyd, the Company’s Boss of that time, said that this concept enables people to travel between Gatwick and Heathrow. And the distance is 45 miles in just four minutes.
Virgin Hyperloop is a Los Angeles-based company. However, they are also discovering the concepts in other countries too. That includes a 12-minute speculative connection between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Which usually takes more than an hour with the usual transport.
On the Hyperloop travel system, detractors said that it needs several permissions and many infrastructures to be built, including the construction of a massive network of vacuum tubes for every path. Replying to detractors, the company head Ms. Luchian accepted all the difficulties that are in the way of the Hyperloop travel system. She said, “Of course there is a need for a lot of infrastructure to be built but I think we’ve mitigated a lot of risk that people didn’t think was possible.” She also added, “Infrastructure is a topic where everyone is focusing either people or government. And we know that people need the solutions. People look at the hyperloop travel system as a future transport. We are building today’s or yesterday’s transport system and keep facing the problems that came in the way and trying to solve those problems.”