Branson’s company, Virgin, has invested heavily into Elon Musk’s latest invention, the Hyperloop One. It is stated that the Virgin powerhouse has invested a substantial amount, making it one of the biggest stake holders. This has led to the re-branding of the Hyperloop One, and is now abtly named; Virgin Hyperloop One.
Virgin’s founder – Sir Richard Branson, is joining the Los Angeles based firm’s committee as part of the negotiations, and the Hyperloop company are hoping with Branson onboard, they will be able to elevate the company’s profile.
“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.”
The Hyperloop One system uses magnetic levitation and electric propulsion to cause pods to glide on a designated track, and is thought to be one of the more eco-friendly startups than many of today’s alternatives.
The firm says it is working on several projects to bring the technology to the Middle East, Europe, India, Canada and the US. Additionally, in a press release, Virgin suggested the system could eventually cut journey times from Edinburgh to London to 50 minutes.
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. It’s eventual goal is to reach 1,046km/h (650mph).
Hyperloop’s inventor, Elon Musk, has previously signaled his intention to build a separate Hyperloop system via his tunnel-digging Boring Company which would be integrated into the tunnels.