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Virgin Hyperloop Makes History With First Passenger Test for XP-2 Pod

It’s been six (long) years since Elon Musk’s white paper on the Hyperloop as the future fifth mode of transportation. Some hours ago, Virgin Hyperoop became the first company to conduct passenger tests on one of its pods.
XP-2 pod makes first passenger test for Virgin Hyperloop 8 photos
XP-2 pod makes first passenger test for Virgin HyperloopXP-2 pod makes first passenger test for Virgin HyperloopXP-2 pod makes first passenger test for Virgin HyperloopXP-2 pod makes first passenger test for Virgin HyperloopXP-2 pod makes first passenger test for Virgin HyperloopXP-2 pod makes first passenger test for Virgin HyperloopXP-2 pod makes first passenger test for Virgin Hyperloop
This happened at the DevLoop test track outside Las Vegas, Nevada, a stretch of some 500 meters (1,640 feet) that was the scene of over 400 prior unmanned tests. The first passengers were Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience. They boarded the recently-unveiled XP-2 pod, also called Pegasus, and traveled at speeds of 100 mph (161 kph) through the airless tunnel.

Prior to the historic test, neither Giegel nor Luchian received any training. Neither did they wear special protective equipment, and relied solely on the pod’s seatbelts in case something went wrong. The first passenger test should put all fears on the safety of the Hyperloop to rest, the company says in a press statement, by demonstrating the capacity of safety-critical systems on board.

“For the past few years, the Virgin Hyperloop team has been working on turning its ground breaking technology into reality,” Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, says. “With today’s successful test, we have shown that this spirit of innovation will in fact change the way people everywhere live, work, and travel in the years to come.”

“When we started in a garage over 6 years ago, the goal was simple – to transform the way people move,” Giegel said after the test. “Today, we took one giant leap toward that ultimate dream, not only for me, but for all of us who are looking towards a moonshot right here on Earth.”

XP-2, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is a scaled-down version of the pod that will eventually, hopefully carry up to 23 passengers at much higher speeds than the one recorded on this occasion. The ultimate goal of the Hyperloop is to travel at speeds of up to 760 mph (1,223 kph), covering very large distances in just a fraction of the time needed for other means of transport.

The pod’s first passenger test was observed by the Independent Safety Assessor (ISA).

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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