Richard Branson bets on Hyperloop One's futuristic technology

British billionaire Richard Branson placed another bet on the future with an investment in Hyperloop One, which is developing super high-speed transportation systems.

Hyperloop One said Branson’s Virgin Group would take the company global and rebrand itself as Virgin Hyperloop One in the near future.

Branson has joined the board of Hyperloop One, which will develop pods that will transport passenger and mixed-use cargo at speeds of 402 km per hour (250 miles per hour).

Hyperloop One successfully tested its propulsion system on a short Las Vegas track in 2016. The company will be renamed Virgin Hyperloop One. (Kim Brunhuber/CBC)

The pod lifts above a track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to low 
aerodynamic drag.

The company did not disclose the size of the investment.

Hyperloop One was originally conceptualized by Elon Musk. In July, Musk said he had received verbal approval to start 
building the systems that would link New York and Washington
, cutting travel time to about half an hour.

Last month, Hyperloop One raised $85 million US in new funding, bringing the total financing raised to $245 million US since it was founded in 2014.

Hyperloop Test

A test sled speeds down a track during the 2016 test. The technology is designed to transport people and goods in pods that lift above a track using magnetic levitation and glide at airline speeds for long distances due to low aerodynamic drag. (John Locher/The Associated Press)

Hyperloop One’s co-founders, executive chairman Shervin Pishevar and president of engineering Josh Giegel, have 
previously worked at Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Galactic is Branson’s space company, which in 2016, was granted an operating license to fly its passenger rocketship with the world’s first paying space tourists once final safety tests are completed.


Branson’s Virgin Galactic was granted an operating license in 2016 to fly its passenger rocketship SpaceShipTwo with the world’s first paying space tourists aboard once final safety tests are completed. (Gene Blevins/Reuters)

“Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuing it is a responsible and sustainable form of 
transport,” Virgin Group said in a statement.

Hyperloop One is also working on projects in the Middle East, Europe, India and Canada, according to the statement. 

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