Virgin Hyperloop One has set a new speed record at its DevLoop test center outside of Las Vegas. During its third test phase, which was completed on December 15, an unmanned test pod reached a speed of nearly 387 km/h (240 mph) while running through an evacuated cylinder depressurized to 0.0002 atmospheres (0.003 lb/in²), or the equivalent air pressure of an altitude of 200,000 feet (37 mi, 61 km) above sea level.

According to Virgin Hyperloop One, the December tests not only saw a record speed run that broke the company's previous best of 310 km/hr (193 mph), but included trials of a new airlock system to allow the pods to move between the 500 m (1,600 ft) evacuated tube and normal air pressure, as well as the electric motor, controls and power electronics, magnetic levitation and guidance, and pod suspension systems. The end goal is to develop a transportation system capable of carrying passengers and freight through a system of tubes at airline speeds across continental distances.

In addition to the speed record, the company confirmed the rumors that Sir Richard Branson had been named non-executive Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One. The founder of Virgin Group, Sir Richard's Chairmanship comes on the heels of the Group's investment in the company and his joining Hyperloop One's board of directors in October 2017. Since then, the company has rebranded itself as Virgin Hyperloop One.

In further revelations, Virgin Hyperloop One announced that Caspian Venture Capital and DP World have invested an additional US$50 million in the enterprise.

"I am excited by the latest developments at Virgin Hyperloop One and delighted to be its new Chairman" says Sir Richard. "The recent investment by our partners Caspian Venture Capital and DP World sets up the company to pursue opportunities in key markets in the Middle East, Europe, and Russia as it develops game changing and innovative passenger and cargo ground transport systems."

Check out video of the record-breaking run below.

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