Richard Branson's Virgin Group bets big on Hyperloop One's 'revolutionary' transport system

Richard Branson's Virgin Group bets big on Hyperloop One's 'revolutionary' transport system

The investment, which is believed to be worth $85m (£65m), will see the Los Angeles-based transport firm rebranded as Virgin Hyperloop One, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The global strategic partnership will focus on passenger and mixed-use cargo service in addition to the creation of a new passenger division. Hyperloop One will rebrand as Virgin Hyperloop One, as the Virgin Group invests in the high-speed transportation effort.

Hyperloop One claims to be the only company in the world to have built a fully operational Hyperloop system.

Its tracks use magnetic levitation and the pod glides at airline speeds for long distances.

Among different groups working to bring the system to life, Hyperloop One achieved major progress with a recent demonstration of a working prototype at its test track in the Nevada desert.

The customer experience of the pod is something that we definitely want to lean on Richard's and the Virgin Group's experience to create an experience when you walk into a hyperloop pod.

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"This is an incredibly innovative and exciting new way to move people and things at airline speeds on the ground, " Branson said in a statement.

Virgin Hyperloop One is not the only company making major advances in developing the technology.

"Our goal is to make travel fun again".

He added: "During phase two of testing, the duration of the longest test has been 10.6 seconds, with the top speed of 192mph (310kmh) - or 86 metres per second". The vehicle reportedly coasted above the first portion of the track for 5.3 seconds and reached almost 2Gs of acceleration while achieving the target speed of 70mph.

Branson's Virgin Galactic was granted an operating license in 2016 to fly its passenger rocketship SpaceShipTwo with the world's first paying space tourists aboard once final safety tests are completed. The company plans to work with a variety of operators globally. During this trial they used full-scale Hyperloop passenger pods at their DevLoop site in Nevada, in the US.

At the time, the company said the four missions will carry several nano-satellites, allowing it to deploy most of its "full constellation" from 2018, with the aim of being done by 2020.