An idea that has been pondered by many futurists since the 18th century has been seeing renewed interest after the founder of SpaceX, Tesla, and PayPal, Elon Musk, proposed a high-speed train service connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2013. Since then it spurred on several engineers and start-ups across the world to take on the endeavor, including Hyperloop One.
Today, the company has announced a new partnership with Virgin, which has its own projects in alternative transportation, including one that aims to make space travel more affordable and efficient through the Virgin Galactic brand. Even though the structure of the company will continue to function as is, the name will be rebranded again - after doing so in 2016 - to Virgin Hyperloop One, after the undisclosed investment amount from Virgin, headed by the iconic Sir Richard Branson, who will now join the board of directors.
In a blog post, Hyperloop One co-founders commented on the partnership, and the prospects of such an endeavor:
“A partnership with Hyperloop One feels like a natural fit […] Virgin’s purpose-driven mission to deliver more sustainable modes of transportation aligns well with Hyperloop One’s radically efficient and clean technology.”
The company has boasted about being the first - hence the One in its name - to build a fully functional train utilizing the vacuum tube concept, after it completed a successful test run at its own Nevada test track reaching speeds of up to 70mph - which it then smashed with another run reaching 192mph. It reportedly aims to build a commercial hyperloop in India by 2021, with several other projects underway in the U.S. and Canada.
Musk has returned to the idea of the hyperloop after remaining somewhat absent through a new company called 'The Boring Company', aiming to dig tunnels throughout the U.S. which can then be used for these vacuum train systems, among other uses including a so-called 'car elevator'.
Source and image: Virgin Hyperloop One