Tuesday 10 November 2020
Virgin Hyperloop made history as the first people successfully traveled in a Hyperloop pod. The significant investment made by Dubai-based DP World, the leading global provider of smart logistics solutions, in the research and development of hyperloop technology, has played an instrumental role in this milestone.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop and Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, watched the passenger testing first-hand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“DP World and Dubai are at the forefront of technological innovation in the transport and logistics industry," he said. "The world has been changing quickly and we wanted to be involved in the potential this mode of mass transportation presents, to connect markets and economies, keep trade flowing, and help build the global economy’s next phase to accelerate growth."
The historic testing milestone, combined with the advancements at the Hyperloop Certification Center, will pave the way for the certification of hyperloop systems around the world – a key step towards commercial projects, including those in Saudi Arabia and UAE.
Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience, of Virgin Hyperloop, were the first people in the world to ride on this new form of transportation.
The test took place at Virgin Hyperloop’s 500-meter DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the company has previously run over 400 un-occupied tests.
The occupants made their maiden voyage on the newly-unveiled XP-2 vehicle, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, which was custom-built with occupant safety and comfort in mind. While the production vehicle will be larger and seat up to 28 passengers, this 2-seater XP-2 vehicle was built to demonstrate that passengers can in fact safely travel in a hyperloop vehicle.
The testing was overseen by the industry-recognized Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) Certifier. Having undergone a rigorous and exhaustive safety process, the XP-2 vehicle demonstrates many of the safety-critical systems that will be found on a commercial hyperloop system and is equipped with a state-of-the-art control system that can detect off-nominal states and rapidly trigger appropriate emergency responses.
Virgin Hyperloop also announced a partnership with Abu Dhabi’s Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) to support the development of hyperloop technology and sustainable transportation through advanced AI research.