Virgin Hyperloop Focuses on Cargo, Not People
Virgin Hyperloop is a US-based company that uses hyperloop technology to provide faster, more efficient, and environmentally friendly transportation. The system consists of pressurized vehicles, magnetic levitation, and renewable energy.
Originally conceived by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk in a research paper, the idea is simple: transport passengers in vacuum-sealed tubes at super-fast speeds. Virgin Hyperloop, founded in 2013 and backed by billionaire businessman Richard Branson, is the first company to have tested this technology in real-world conditions.
Virgin Hyperloop has made several significant technological advances since its conception. Today, the company is focusing on cargo, not passengers. In fact, a spokesperson from the company says that the best thing about hyperloops is the low cost of moving cargo.
DP World, a logistics company owned by the UAE government, is one of the investors in Virgin Hyperloop. It holds 76 percent of the shares. During a demonstration of the technology, Virgin Hyperloop executives sped along a 500-metre test track at speeds of more than 160kph.
DP World has suggested a future where the Hyperloop would serve passenger pods as well, but has not yet revealed any details. Among the benefits of a cargo-based Hyperloop system are higher reliability, faster transit times, and lower regulatory requirements.
DP World Cargospeed, a joint initiative between Virgin Hyperloop and the UAE, is the first of its kind. When fully operational, it will allow palletised cargo to travel more than two-and-a-half times faster than traditional trucking.