Virgin invest in Hyperloop One

The Virgin investment group has taken an undisclosed stake in Hyperloop One’s pod-based transport system, according to BBC reports.

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

‘This is unproven technology and there’s a long way to go before it ever finds itself in use in the real world,’ commented Prof David Bailey from Aston Business School. ‘But this deal will certainly help in terms of marketing and potentially attract further investors to come into the operation.’

Hyperloop One recently tested a prototype pod in the Nevada desert, which reached a speed of 310km/h (192mph) within a 500m (1,600ft) low air-pressured tube. Its eventual goal is to reach 1,046km/h (650mph).

The system uses magnetic levitation and electric propulsion to cause pods to glide. The firm says it is working on several projects to bring the technology to the Middle East, Europe, India, Canada and the US.