What is Virgin Hyperloop’s Invention?
Started working in 2014, Virgin Hyperloop’s vision has been to realize a dream about a new method of mass transportation. Now, after about six years of hard work and facing challenges, Hyperloop is ready. Hyperloop is a system of pods that travel within a vacuum-sealed tunnel. These pods use electromagnetic levitation technology, which is the same technology used in some Japanese trains. Therefore, unlike regular trains, there is no friction to reduce speed potentially. The significant difference between Hyperloop and the Japanese speed trains is that Hyperloop’s invention moves inside a tube and has the potential to move at the speed of 1000 Km/h. This is three times faster than the Japanese trains and ten times faster than regular trains.
What are the upsides of using Hyperloop?
The most important advantage of using Hyperloop, instead of air travel or regular trains and cars, is its incredible speed. The final goal of Virgin Hyperloop is to travel the 615-kilometer long distance between Los Angles and San Francisco in just 43 minutes. This journey takes one hour, 28 minutes by plane and about 6 hours by car.
But this is not all. Hyperloop sustainability gives it a massive advantage over air travel and travel by personal vehicles. Using clean, sustainable means of transportation these days is no longer a mere suggestion; this is a requirement.
Another clear advantage of using Hyperloop in the future is that these super-fast pods travel on demand. It means you won’t need to adhere to a schedule to get to your destination. You merely call a pod at your convenience, and the pod won’t have to stop at every station on the way. It will eventually save you more time and energy.
The bottom line is that the Virgin Hyperloop pods are designed to give you the ease of traveling by plane, the comfort of rail travel, and the speed you have never experienced before.
How much progress has Hyperloop made so far?
After doing more than 400 tests with unmanned pods, Hyperloop had its first human passengers on November 8th, 2020. These passengers were Josh Giegel, the co-founder of Virgin Hyperloop, and Sara Luchian, Virgin Hyperloop’s director of passenger experience. They traveled the length of the test tube, built in the deserts just outside Los Angles, in only a few seconds. This tube is 500 meters long, and the pod’s speed reached 160 Km/h in those few seconds. The passengers mentioned that they barely felt the speed, and it was just like being on an airplane.
What does Virgin Hyperloop have in store for the future?
The company’s goal is to install their tubes all around the country first and all around the world at later stages. Right now, negotiations have been made about starting ‘The Hyperloop Certification Center’ in West Virginia. This is expected to create about 13,000 local jobs in the area. The track is expected to be 6 miles long initially and expand in the future.
Of course, there are more opportunities in the future. As of right now, 17 states all across the United States have officially proposed to host Hyperloop’s next test tracks. Virgin Hyperloop’s goal is to build these certification centers by the year 2025. Additionally, plans have been made to connect the cities of Jeddah to Mecca and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia by the year 2030. This will cover a distance of 951 kilometers in just over an hour. The Hyperloop project will also create thousands of jobs for the local workforce of Saudi Arabia.
How does this progress affect Virgin Hyperloop’s stock value?
After the test pod’s brilliant success, the price of Virgin Hyperloop’s stock has been steadily going up. When it started in 2014, this company had about $7 million of funding. However, the company’s shares are trading at $ 2.1, which corresponds to a valuation of $616 million today. The markets expect that the price goes up since the addressable market is estimated to be over $1 trillion.