Virgin Hyperloop chief technology officer & co-founder Josh Giegel and Sara Luchian, director of passenger experience, were the first to experience the new form of transportation. The test took place at Virgin Hyperloop’s 500m-long DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, USA, where the company has previously run over 400 unoccupied tests. The two-person test pod reached 107mph.
“For the past few years, the Virgin Hyperloop team has been working on turning its ground breaking technology into reality,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. “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 six years ago, the goal was simple – to transform the way people move,” said Giegel. “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.”
The occupants made the maiden voyage on the newly-unveiled XP-2 vehicle, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and Kilo Design. While the production vehicle will be larger and seat up to 28 passengers, this two-seater XP-2 vehicle was built to demonstrate that passengers can travel safely in a hyperloop vehicle.
“Hyperloop is about so much more than the technology. It’s about what it enables,” said Luchian. “To me, the passenger experience ties it all together. And what better way to design the future than to actually experience it first-hand?”
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of Virgin Hyperloop, watched this historic passenger testing first-hand. “I had the true pleasure of seeing history made before my very eyes – to witness the first new mode of mass transportation in over 100 years come to life,” he said. “I have always had tremendous faith in the team at Virgin Hyperloop to transform this technology into a safe system, and today we have done that. We are one step closer to ushering in a new era of ultra-fast, sustainable movement of people and goods.”
“I can’t tell you how often I get asked ‘is hyperloop safe?,’” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop. “With today’s passenger testing, we have successfully answered this question, demonstrating that not only can Virgin Hyperloop safely put a person in a pod in a vacuum environment, but that the company has a thoughtful approach to safety which has been validated by an independent third party.”