Traveling at more than 100 mph, two people were loaded into a Virgin Hyperloop pod on Sunday and sent flying, the first time the company has tested its high-speed technology with humans on board.
The test, which took place in an XP-2 vehicle at Virgin Hyperloop’s 500-meter DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, is the next step in bringing super-high-speed transportation to major cities like Dubai and Sin City.
“For the past few years, the Virgin Hyperloop team has been working on turning its groundbreaking technology into reality,” Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, said in a statement. “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.”
When finished, the passenger pods will seat up to 28 people and be capable of traveling at more than 621 mph, according to the group. So far, they’ve done more than 400 un-occupied tests (and hit speeds of more than 240 mph), but Sunday’s test was completed at 48 meters per second — or about 107 mph.
The pods, which travel through a low-pressure tube using magnetic levitation, will also be capable of hauling cargo.
“When we started in a garage over 6 years ago, the goal was simple – to transform the way people move,” Josh Giegel, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Virgin Hyperloop and one of its first passengers, said in the statement. “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.”
Virgin isn’t the only company working on a super-fast hyperloop train. Dutch company Hardt Hyperloop is looking to build a low-energy train capable of bringing passengers from Paris to Amsterdam in about 90 minutes.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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