Branson’s Virgin Group invests in Hyperloop One

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Hyperloop One claims its pod-based system is actually more “sustainable” than current transport options

The Virgin investment group has taken an undisclosed stake in Hyperloop One, one of several companies trying to create a pod-based transport system.

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Virgin’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, is actually joining the Los Angeles-based firm’s board as part of the deal, along with the item is actually rebranding itself as Virgin Hyperloop One.

One expert suggested the tie-up would likely help raise the company’s profile.

“This specific is actually unproven technology along with there’s a long way to go before the item ever finds itself in use inside the real world,” commented Prof David Bailey by Aston Business School.

“nevertheless This specific deal will certainly help in terms of marketing along with potentially attract further investors to come into the operation.”

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Sir Richard is actually joining Hyperloop One’s board

Hyperloop One recently tested a prototype pod inside the Nevada desert, which reached a speed of 310km/h (192mph) within a 500m (1,600ft) low air-pressured tube.

Its eventual goal is actually to reach 1,046km/h (650mph).

The system uses magnetic levitation along with electric propulsion to cause pods to glide, along with is actually pitched as a more eco-friendly mode of transportation than many of today’s alternatives.

The firm says the item is actually working on several projects to bring the technology to the Middle East, Europe, India, Canada along with the US.

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Media captionWATCH: Hyperloop One tested a passenger-sized pod in August

In a press Discharge, Virgin suggested the system could eventually cut journey times by Edinburgh to London to 50 minutes.

Hyperloop’s inventor, Elon Musk, has previously signalled his intention to build a separate Hyperloop system via his tunnel-digging Boring Company.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, TransPod Hyperloop along with Dinclix GroundWorks are among additional companies to have announced rival projects.

‘Complicated tech’

“The combination of our proven technology along with Virgin’s expertise in transportation, operations, safety along with passenger experience will accelerate the commercialisation phase of our company’s development,” said Hyperloop One’s co-founder Josh Giegel in a written statement.

Virgin already has investments in rail companies, cruise liners, airlines along having a nascent space tourism operation.

However, Prof Bailey questioned its potential.

“I remain sceptical about using Hyperloop technology in places where there are high land values or dense population,” he explained.

“nevertheless the item may be more appropriate in places like the United Arab Emirates.

“the item’s a complicated technology along with there’s a long way to go.”

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