Virgin Hyperloop One's travel app maps out a future of supersonic travel
A fully functional Hyperloop system remains years away, but that hasn't stopped one of the startups vying to build it from bringing out an app for folks to book a ride. Virgin Hyperloop One has rolled up to this year's CES with a demo version of an app designed to handle the entire passenger experience, along with a full-scale version of the pod that would take them along for the ride.
A number of startups are working to build the Hyperloop system, including Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Arrivo, but Virgin Hyperloop One is streets ahead. Previously known simply as Hyperloop One, the company recently welcomed Richard Branson as its new chairman and adopted his company's name on the back of substantial investment. It also reached a record speed of 387 km/h (240 mph) in a depressurized tube last month.
While it may be closer than most, Virgin Hyperloop One still has a ways to go before reaching target speeds of 1,200 km/h (745 mph). Nonetheless, it wants to offer a little taste of what the world of supersonic travel would be like.
To that end the company has teamed up with mapping company Here Technologies to build a navigation app for riding aboard the Hyperloop, but also incorporates other modes of travel as well. So through the app, users will be able to book and pay for not only the Hyperloop leg of the journey, but arrange trips with ride-sharing services like Lyft at either end, and receive walking directions as well.
"Hyperloop is not just about A to B, it's an end-to-end passenger experience – that means no waiting at any point along the journey," says Matt Jones, Virgin Hyperloop One's SVP of Software Engineering. "Here shares our vision for optimizing travel. We will redefine the passenger experience by offering real time, on demand travel connecting hyperloop, other modes, and even indoor walking directions."
Though the app won't be made publicly available until later in the year, the company is showing it off at CES in Las Vegas. Alongside it, it is displaying the One XP-1 passenger pod, which the company used to achieve last month's record speeds.
"We're giving the public a taste of what a Virgin Hyperloop One experience will be like by publicly unveiling our pod and demonstrating how passengers will experience booking a hyperloop trip from their pocket," said CEO Rob Lloyd. "Every hardware and software milestone brings us closer to commercializing hyperloop."
The video below offers a look at how the app will work.
Source: Hyperloop One