Richard Branson takes another bet on the future with Hyperloop One


As part of the deal, Branson will join the board of the California startup, which will be renamed Virgin Hyperloop One in the coming months, according to a joint statement. Importantly, Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuing it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport too.

Early tests of the technology have achieved speeds around 200 miles per hour, including SpaceX's hyperloop pod competition and Hyperloop One's own test runs on a track in the Nevada desert that have hit a top speed of 192 miles per hour.

In 2013, Musk pitched an idea for entrepreneurs to create a massive vacuum tube that could one day transport someone from Los Angeles to NY in 45 minutes.

"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 described the hyperloop concept as "a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table".

The startup had raised more than $200 million prior to Tuesday's announcement. For example, the firm envisions 30-minute trips between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

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"We're incredibly excited about the technology behind Virgin Hyperloop One and the way it could transform passengers' lives", said Virgin's Richard Branson. "Hyperloop technology has been explicitly open-sourced and others have been encouraged to take the ideas and further develop them".

Branson said the company was working on "exciting projects" around the world but no lines have been confirmed as yet.

Virgin apparently isn't the only one with an renewed interest in Hyperloop One since that test. The company was embroiled in a messy lawsuit a year ago between its two founders.

Musk's hyperloop involvement is for now limited to potentially building the tunnels with his latest startup - The Boring Company.