Thanks to Sir Richard Branson, Hyperloop One is now Virgin Hyperloop One. The rebranding was announced by the Virgin Group founder and CEO on his blog, in which he said that the change follows an undisclosed, but substantial investment by Virgin in the US-based transportation start up.

According to Sir Richard, the investment in Virgin Hyperloop One is in line with the company's commitment to disruption and investment in innovative companies, including Virgin Airways and Virgin Galactic. He said that Virgin was particularly attracted to the Hyperloop's all-electric design, which is in line with the brand's commitment to sustainable green technologies.

Based on a white paper released by Elon Musk in 2013, the system being developed by Virgin Hyperloop One uses passenger and cargo pods suspended by magnetic levitation inside a steel tube evacuated to a near total vacuum. Accelerated to speeds above Mach 1 (761 mph, 1,225 km/h) by an electromagnetic drive, friction is further reduced by means of a compressor that scoops up the remaining air in front of the pod and expels it astern as the pod travels through the tube.

So far, the system has been restricted to the Hyperloop One test track outside Las Vegas, Nevada. The longest test to date lasted 10.6 seconds with a top speed of 192 mph (310 km/h) over a distance of 436 m (1,430 ft). Feasibility studies for building hyperloop networks are being conducted in North America, Europe, Britain, India, and the Middle East.

"Earlier this summer I was fortunate to visit the [Nevada] site and see first-hand the exciting technology being tested," said Sir Richard. "I was very impressed and now look forward to helping turn this cutting edge engineering into a global passenger service."

Source: Virgin

View gallery - 3 images