Virgin Hyperloop conducted a test with people for the first time on Sunday. In Nevada, USA, passengers were transported at high speed through a tube, the transport company says.
Hyperloop pods drive through a near-vacuum tunnel. Due to the lack of air resistance, they can reach very high speeds. Until now, the pods have always been tested without people.
On Sunday, two Virgin Hyperloop employees boarded a Hyperloop train for the first time, after the test had previously been carried out four hundred times without personnel. The employees covered 500 meters in fifteen seconds. A speed of 172 kilometers per hour was achieved. Ultimately, Virgin wants to reach a speed of 1,000 kilometers per hour.
The speed was limited due to the short test track. The passengers said the ride was smooth and “not at all” felt like riding a roller coaster. Virgin Hyperloop hopes to offer commercial rides by 2030.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk invented the hyperloop in 2012. The idea of the hyperloop is based on the technology of so-called maglev trains. They use electromagnets to be propelled floating. Due to the reduced air resistance, the hyperloop can reach much higher speeds. In 2017, Virgin Hyperloop reached its highest speed to date, 386 kilometers per hour.