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Virgin Hyperloop; World's First Hyperloop Passenger Test
Hyperloop will fundamentally change the way we travel, and in the process, redefine the parameters that shape any mode of transportation. Hyperloop was first conceived by Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk in 2013 as a system of partially depressurized tubes that pods travel through at near-supersonic speeds. Virgin Hyperloop is developing its ultra-fast transportation system based on an open-source technology initially conceived by Elon Musk. Virgin Hyperloop is the only company in the world that has successfully tested hyperloop technology at scale until now.
Virgin Hyperloop is building a center for testing and certifying its high-speed transportation system, designed by architecture firm BIG. The Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC) is the start of the hyperloop journey for West Virginia, for the United States, and for the world. The HCC facility will include a six-mile-long tube for testing Virgin Hyperloop for mass transportation use. The aim is to achieve safety certification for the new mode of transport – intended to be ultra-fast, with zero direct emissions – by 2025 and for it to be in operation by 2030.
Renderings show a large, pill-shaped building that extends to the tube, through which the hyperloop pod travels, on one side. The 800-acre complex will include a welcome center, an all-important six-mile certification track, a pod final assembly facility, a product development test center, and training center for operations, safety, and maintenance.
The company's DevLoop test site in Nevada, which BIG also designed, marked the world's first hyperloop test track. Virgin Hyperloop has recorded "historic speeds" of 387 Km/h on the 500-metre test track. The test was conducted in a small 2-seater XP-2 vehicle built to demonstrate that passengers can in fact safely travel in a hyperloop pod. The actual production one will be larger and seat up to 28 passengers.