Published: Wed, December 20, 2017
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Virgin billionaire Richard Branson is taking up Hyperloop One chairman role

Virgin billionaire Richard Branson is taking up Hyperloop One chairman role

The company says the technology will allow train travel between NY and Washington in less than 30 minutes.

Earlier this year, the company announced that it plans to have working hyperloop systems deployed by 2021.

A 28-foot-long pod was placed into a 1,600-foot-long concrete test tube, which was depressurized to the equivalent air pressure experienced at 200,000 feet above sea level.

Virgin Hyperloop One set a new speed record during its most recent testing phase, the company said Monday. "Our focus in 2018 will be on accelerating commercial agreements for both passenger and cargo projects", said Virgin Hyperloop One's CEO Rob Lloyd, in an announcement regarding the investment.

Hyperloop One's goal is to one day achieve speeds of 670 miles per hour.

In August, the company claimed that its prototype pod had logged 192mph on the test track.

Virgin Hyperloop One has also named Richard Branson its non-executive chairman and raised an addition $50 million United States dollars ahead of its Series C round of funding with investments from Caspian Venture Capital and DP World.

"All components of the system were successfully tested including the airlock, highly efficient electric motor, advanced controls and power electronics, custom magnetic levitation and guidance, pod suspension, and the vacuum", the startup wrote in a press release. Hyperloop One's co-founders, executive chairman Shervin Pishevar and president of engineering Josh Giegel, have previously worked at Virgin Galactic, Branson's space company.

They announced a $50 million boost from two existing investors, Caspian Venture Capital and DP World, an operator of marine and inland trade terminals.

If it comes to fruition, Hyperloop has the potential to revolutionize transportation around the world.

Virgin Hyperloop One is one of a handful of firms developing technologies in which passengers and cargo can be loaded into pods that travel at high speeds through low-friction tubes above or below ground.

Branson joined the Virgin Hyperloop One board of directors in October after Virgin invested in the company and formed a "global strategic partnership", according to Hyperloop One.

Although still under development, hyperloop technology is earmarked for extensive use in the U.A.E.

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