What exactly is the Virgin Hyperloop One? It’s a transportation system that envisions pods using magnetic levitation zooming through pneumatic tubes at 600mph. So far, it’s hit 265mph, in one test run.
Infusion of cash allows Virgin Hyperloop One high speed transportation project to continue testing and development.
Eventually, the pods will be traveling 600mph in a tube, shooting you to your destination.
The technology is real and being tested on a track in Nevada.
As you can imagine, even building out proof of concept for a new system of sci-fi transportation pods takes hundreds of millions of dollars. Founded in 2014 as Hyperloop Technologies, Hyperloop One has been plagued with issues. Even after Sir Richard Branson invested in the startup in 2017, becoming its chairman and rebranding it with the Virgin name. By the way, Branson was ousted as chairman last year.
This $172 million infusion will help keep things moving forward on Hyperloop One’s full-scale test track outside Las Vegas, Nevada. However, the project, still considered a startup, is looking to raise $224 million in this equity stake sale. Prior to this investment, Virgin’s Hyperloop has gobbled up $295 million. So, the round is still open, if you’re interested.
Interestingly, but maybe not surprisingly, it was the wacky and wonderful mind of Elon Musk that provided the springboard to develop hyperloop technology. He published a white paper in 2013 and then made the intellectual property open-source technology.
Other competitors such as Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and TransPod are hot on Hyperloop One’s heels. They haven’t yet built their test tracks, but both plan to have test tracks set up and running by end of this year.
Get ready to drive in an autonomous car and be hurtled through a tube, because both are coming.