A few of the company’s employees rode the first new mode of transport in more than a century.
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This story originally appeared on PC Mag
Virgin Hyperloop made history on Sunday when it completed the world’s first Hyperloop passenger test. Josh Giegel, Company Co-Founder and CTO, and Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience, were the first to drive Virgin’s new mode of transportation: Experimental Pod-2 (XP-2).
Since its inception in 2014, the company has been known by many names (including Hyperloop Technologies, Hyperloop One, and Virgin Hyperloop One), but it has always focused on one goal: to change the way people travel. Six years later, Luchian and Giegel traveled 48 meters per second on a 500-meter journey through the Nevada desert. “We have made a big step towards this final dream,” Giegel said in a statement. “Not just for me, but for all of us who look at a full moon here on earth.”
Connected to the two-seat XP-2, the two made their maiden voyage to Virgin’s DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, where the company previously conducted more than 400 unmanned tests.
The prototype of the vehicle was designed with many of the safety systems that passengers can expect in a future commercial hyperloop. It will offer larger cars with 28 seats and speeds of up to 670 mph. In fact, it’s so fast that the 382-mile drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco – a 1.5-hour flight or a six-hour drive – takes less than 45 minutes.
“Hyperloop is about a lot more than just technology. It’s about what it enables,” said Luchian. “For me, the passenger experience connects everything. And what better way to shape the future than to experience it firsthand?”
This is just the latest milestone for Virgin Hyperloop, which last month revealed West Virginia as the location of its Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC). Earlier this year, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Council on Emerging and Nontraditional Transportation Technologies (NETT) introduced a legal framework for Hyperloop in the US.
“For the past several years, the Virgin Hyperloop team has worked to turn their innovative technology into a reality,” said Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “With the successful test [del domingo]We have shown that this spirit of innovation will indeed change the way people live, work and travel in the years to come. “