Virgin Hyperloop on Monday said it has “successfully” completed the first-ever human trial in the hyperloop pod at the DevLoop test facility in the US, where the company has previously run over 400 un-occupied tests.
Two passengers, both company staff, travelled 500 metres in 15 seconds, reaching 107 mph (172 km per hour), marking the completion of the first-ever trial, the company said.
Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience, were the first people in the world to ride on this new form of transportation.
WATCH: Virgin Hyperloop’s first-ever human trial with two of its own employees
The occupants made their maiden voyage on the newly-unveiled XP-2 vehicle, designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and Kilo Design, which was custom-built with occupant safety and comfort in mind, the company said in the release.
The testing campaign will continue with Pune native and Virgin Hyperloop Power Electronics Specialist, Tanay Manjrekar, riding next, the company said in the release.
Hyperloop is a next-generation travel system that uses pods or capsules travelling at high speeds through low-pressure tubes erected on columns or tunnelled underground using magnetic levitation. The system is fully autonomous and sealed, so no driver-related error is anticipated.
“For the past few years, the Virgin Hyperloop team has been working on turning its ground-breaking technology into reality,” said Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.
He added that with Monday’s successful test, the company has shown that this spirit of innovation will in fact change the way people everywhere live, work, and travel in the years to come.
This successful test is a landmark announcement for building the Pune-Mumbai hyperloop transportation system, recognising hyperloop technology alongside other more traditional forms of mass transit, said the release.
“Today’s test is a significant step forward towards a commercial hyperloop in India — perhaps the world’s first — connecting Pune with Mumbai along the existing Expressway,” said Harj Dhaliwal, managing director (Middle East and India) of Virgin Hyperloop.
While the production vehicle will be larger and seat up to 28 passengers, this 2-seater XP-2 vehicle was built to demonstrate that passengers can in fact safely travel in a hyperloop vehicle, it added.
Last month, Virgin Hyperloop announced a partnership with Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) to conduct a feasibility study for a proposed hyperloop corridor from Bangalore airport.
Last year, it also signed an MoU with the Punjab’s transport department, Virgin Hyperloop said.
The company hopes to expand on its relationship with Punjab as the company continues exploring opportunities in northern India, independent of their work in the western and southern regions of the country, it added
With agncy inputs