Urban Transport

Virgin Hyperloop completes its first ever passenger test

Virgin Hyperloop completes its...
The capsule used for the hyperloop's first passenger tests is a new prototype called the XP-2, which had been adapted to comfortably carry two humans
The capsule used for the hyperloop's first passenger tests is a new prototype called the XP-2, which had been adapted to comfortably carry two humans
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The capsule used for the hyperloop's first passenger tests is a new prototype called the XP-2, which had been adapted to comfortably carry two humans
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The capsule used for the hyperloop's first passenger tests is a new prototype called the XP-2, which had been adapted to comfortably carry two humans
The first ever human trials of a hyperloop system follow hundreds of unmanned test runs at Virgin Hyperloop's facility in Nevada
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The first ever human trials of a hyperloop system follow hundreds of unmanned test runs at Virgin Hyperloop's facility in Nevada
The Virgin Hyperloop has carried its first passengers along a test track
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The Virgin Hyperloop has carried its first passengers along a test track
Virgin Hyperloop has previously said it hopes to achieve safety certification by 2025
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Virgin Hyperloop has previously said it hopes to achieve safety certification by 2025
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In a landmark moment for the experimental transportation technology, Virgin Hyperloop has welcomed aboard its first ever passengers, albeit only for a short spin along a test track. These first ever human trials of a hyperloop system follow hundreds of unmanned test runs at the company’s facility in Nevada, and bode well for its ability to safely transport people through near-vacuum tubes.

Over the past few years, Virgin Hyperloop has been testing its passenger pods at its 500-meter-long (1,600-ft) track in the Nevada desert, where it has hit speeds of nearly 387 km/h (240 mph) with no one onboard. These magnetically levitating pods travel through near-vacuum tubes and are designed to eventually hit speeds of around 1,200 km/h (745 mph), which would make it possible to travel from LA to San Francisco in just 30 minutes.

Proving this technology is safe for humans is obviously a key consideration for the Virgin Hyperloop team, and on Sunday it was able to take an important step towards that goal. The capsule used was a new prototype called the XP-2, which had been adapted to comfortably carry two human passengers.

Virgin Hyperloop co-founder and CTO Josh Giegel and Director of Passenger Experience Sara Luchian were the first humans to hop aboard, with the test run taking them to speeds of 172 km/h (107 mph), according to the BBC.

The Virgin Hyperloop has carried its first passengers along a test track
The Virgin Hyperloop has carried its first passengers along a test track

“Hyperloop is about so much more than the technology. It’s about what it enables,” said Luchian. “To me, the passenger experience ties it all together. And what better way to design the future than to actually experience it first-hand?”

According to Virgin Hyperloop, the XP-2 pod is fitted with many of the same safety systems that would feature on a commercial version of the hyperloop. While demonstrating these safety systems is an important milestone, there is a long way to before they are done at around the speed of sound. The company has previously said it hopes to achieve safety certification by 2025, and have a commercial service up and running by 2030.

“When we started in a garage over six years ago, the goal was simple – to transform the way people move,” said Giegel. “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.”

You can see a video of the test run below.

Virgin Hyperloop performs first passenger tests

Source: Virgin Hyperloop

View gallery - 4 images
10 comments
Rustgecko
If one looks at the film you can see this is not a test of the hyperloop - it is the test of an underground railway system. One can see that there is a significant space around the pod - this was not done under vacuum. No vacuum + train not hyperloop. Yet again more PR from Hyperloop.
East Coast
Rustgecko - The pods don’t work the way you think. They don’t use suction to move the car. There is absolutely room around the car in the near-vacuum tube. The reason it works is because of the lack of air resistance against the maglev train as it passes through the tube. That’s what allows it to reach the crazy speeds it will eventually reach.

What Virgin Hyperloop showed us is exactly what the final concept consists of.

Here’s a link if you want to see more about it. https://youtu.be/zcikLQZI5wQ
Maxis
Wow! They invented a two person subway! What will they think of next?
guzmanchinky
That looks very cool! I live near LA, and often travel to San Francisco. The flight time is one hour. I arrive an hour before the flight. So two hours. And the San Francisco Airport is about 40 minutes south of San Francisco, so about 3 hours door to door. I'm guessing this hyperloop station could be built much closer to downtown, and that pods would leave every 15 minutes or less? This would then be a 45 minute or maybe an hour total trip? That's a huge difference...
Username
The lack of aerodynamics, front and back, reveal that this is intended to run in near complete vacuum. Not at all what Musk had envisioned and much more costly to build and maintain.
Vi Nic
This iteration is total nonsense. Waste of design time. It has no use in mass transportation. Entry through the circular hatch in the back? No access for disabled people? Seats 4? To make this useful you have to have a design that can load 100 passengers every 15 minutes. Which is not difficult to do. This is just pompous useless PR clip.
Jumbotron
Meh...we've had a hyperloop on the Moon since 1999.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGw3Pq6N4ks
yawood
OMG, don't you get sick of naysayers. If the movers and shakers of the world had believed all the condescending critics every time they took a step forward we wouldn't have electricity, let alone all the other things that have been discovered and invented in the last couple of hundred years.

I don't know if Hyperloop will ever blossom into the wonderful mode of transport that they think it will, but how good is it that they are having a go. This is but one more step towards the goal.
g-Force
Why so critical? From what I have read, some of those that attended the first flight of "Kittyhawk" could not understand the practical application of a machine that flew for 12 sec, covered 120 feet and could only carry 1 passenger.
ljaques
172mph is nothing to scoff at, but it ain't the sub-light which was promised. ;) // Keep on truckin', Virgin Hyperloop. You'll get there. // I wonder if those two made it to the Mile Low Club after unplugging the cam...