Virgin Hyperloop has trialled its first ever journey with passengers, in the desert of Nevada. The futuristic transport concept involves pods inside vacuum tubes carrying passengers at high speeds. In the trial, two passengers – both company staff – travelled the length of a 500m test track in 15 seconds to travel down Virgin’s DevLoop 500-metre test track in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada, where the company has previously run more than 400 tests without passengers, reaching 107mph (172km/h). However, this is a fraction of Virgin’s ambitions for travel speeds of more than 1,000km/h.
Virgin Hyperloop is not the only firm developing the concept but nobody has carried passengers before.
The futuristic transportation uses magnetic levitation to lift the pod above the track and push it forward in a vacuum tube. Virgin Hyperloop was founded as Hyperloop Technologies in 2014, until Richard Branson joined the board of directors in 2017, and the company changed its name. It was also previously called Hyperloop One.