Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has bought a stake in the sealed tube Hyperloop system from Hyperloop One.
The billionaire’s investment included a rebranding of the system to Virgin Hyperloop One, and he will work on it to implement it worldwide.
Branson said he was convinced this groundbreaking technology would change the face of transportation and dramatically cut journey times.
“Virgin has been known for investing in and creating innovative companies over the years, and I look forward to making history together as we bring Hyperloop to the world as Virgin Hyperloop One,” he said.
In a statement, Virgin Group said the company has long been passionate about innovation in transport, especially the development of technology that could transform people’s lives.
"Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuring it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport," said Virgin Group.
Virgin Hyperloop One has also implemented the world's first full-scale hyperloop systems test at their ‘DevLoop’ site outside Las Vegas in the US.
Branson said he was fortunate to visit the site and see first-hand the exciting technology being tested.
“I was very impressed, and now look forward to helping turn this cutting-edge engineering into a global passenger service,” he said.
Hyperloop One Co-founder and Executive Chairman, Shervin Pishevar, said having Branson as an ally would help strengthen the company’s mission to spread Hyperloop One throughout the world
“For more than 20 years, Richard and Virgin have been at the forefront of transportation innovation, and a partnership with them feels like a natural fit,” he said.
The Virgin Hyperloop One system will work by gradually accelerating passenger and cargo filled pods through a low-pressure tube via electric propulsion.
“The pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag,” said Virgin Group.
The hyperloop system was initially conceptualised by SpaceX and Telsa CEO Elon Musk.
Musk’s Hyperloop pods reach from Los Angeles to San Francisco, travelling at over 1000 kilometres/hour which reduces the traditional six-hour car journey down to 35 minutes.
His company is also working on implementing the system between Washington D.C. and New York.
Virgin Hyperloop One is working on projects in the Middle East, Europe, India, Canada and the US.