QR.bizNewsBranson's in the 'loop: Virgin makes big bet on Hyperloop One

Branson's in the 'loop: Virgin makes big bet on Hyperloop One

Branson, who described the endeavor as the world's most revolutionary train service, said that as a train owner (his company owns a train network in the United Kingdom in addition to an airline and other ventures), he felt this is something he wants to be able to operate.

First pitched in 2013 by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the ambitious idea for a hyperloop system (Musk himself is considering building a hyperloop of his own) involves a series of tubes that transport pods using magnetic levitation in a vacuum-sealed environment. Last month, Hyperloop One said it had raised an additional $85 million in financing from investors, bringing its total financing raised since its founding in 2014 to $245 million.

"After visiting Hyperloop One's test site in Nevada and meeting its leadership team this past summer, I am convinced this groundbreaking technology will change transportation as we know it and dramatically cut journey times", Virgin Group founder Richard Branson said in a press release.

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

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

The Hyperloop technology is now in the early stages of commercialization after a successful first full-scale systems test was conducted.

Trains: Hyperloop floats above the surface of the tube.

"I was very impressed and now look forward to helping turn this cutting-edge engineering into a global passenger service", Branson said. It's unknown exactly how much money Virgin is spending on Hyperloop One, but it was enough to get the company to agree to a re-branding.

In August, the Hyperloop traveled nearly the entire length of the track and reached a top speed of 192 miles per hour.

Meanwhile, Musk is now working part-time on a similar project, called The Boring Company.

Richard Branson on Hyperloop One investment'Going faster than an airline on land excites

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