We invested in Virgin Hyperloop One and formed a global strategic partnership earlier this year. In May I visited the DevLoop test site outside Las Vegas and the company was running its system at 70 mph. I was really impressed by it and since then the team have made a lot of exciting progress.
Just now, on a test track that is only 500 metres long, we have achieved a new test speed record of 387 kilometres per hour (240 miles per hour, 107 metres per second), as part of the engineering team’s completed third phase of multi-week testing.
Meanwhile, the company has raised an additional $50 million investments from key shareholders Caspian Venture Capital and DP World. This sets up Virgin Hyperloop One to pursue opportunities in key markets in the Middle East, Europe, Russia, China and the US as it develops game-changing and innovative passenger and cargo ground transport systems.
The team of almost 200 engineers, machinists, welders, and fabricators also successfully tested a new airlock, which helps transition test pods between atmospheric and vacuum conditions. Led by Rob Lloyd (CEO) and Josh Giegel (co-founder and chief technology officer), they also successfully tested a highly efficient electric motor, advanced controls and power electronics, custom magnetic levitation and guidance, pod suspension, and the vacuum. The tests were conducted in a tube depressurised down to the equivalent air pressure experienced at 200,000 feet above sea level.
Having seen the brilliant team in action, I’m looking forward to seeing more big steps forward in the year ahead. In the meantime, watch the video above to see Virgin Hyperloop One testing in action.