The concept of long-distance travel may feel pretty alien at the moment, with countries closing their doors and governments placing limitations on moving even from one city to another.
But we will be travelling again one day and quite possibly in the future that mode of transport will be the Virgin Hyperloop, writes Ashley Norris of Transition Earth. Instead of running on rails like trains, Virgin Hyperloop uses magnetically levitating pods which “float” in near-vacuum tubes offering speeds of up to 600 miles per hour.
To whet your appetite the company has just issued a video that shows the entire Hyperloop journey – arriving at the station checking in, travelling and then arriving. It all looks very exciting in a futuristic way, yet at the same time not too unlike the experience of being on a fast intercity train.
The video, which may or may resemble the actual Hyperloop experience, was put together with a number of partners including architects, designers, urbanists Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) for the portal designs, design company Teague for the pod designs, SeeThree for the video and animation, and Man Made Music for the score and sonic identity.
“Designing a new mode of transportation from scratch is both an opportunity and a responsibility,” said Sara Luchian, Virgin Hyperloop’s director of passenger experience and one of the first people to ride the hyperloop in November.
“Hyperloop technology – and what it enables – is paradigm-shifting. It follows that the passenger experience should be nothing short of extraordinary.”
The Hyperloop’s pods can carry up to 28 passengers each, yet thousands of travellers per hour can be conveyed as the vehicles are able to travel behind one another in the tube within milliseconds. The company is aiming for a full commercial launch for 2030.
One of the key elements for the Hyperloop is that is significantly more environmentally friendly than air travel. The green credentials are reflected in the video, not just in the reduced carbon output but also the design of the pods.
John Barratt, CEO and president, Teague, said when designing the pods, the company looked at “decades of experience” of how people and things move across various modalities, taking some of the best aspects from aviation, rail, automotive, and even hospitality.
Virgin Hyperloop recently carried its first human passengers across the Nevada desert in a world-first showcase of the technology. In the trial, two passengers – both company staff – travelled the length of a 500m test track in 15 seconds, reaching 107mph (172km/h). Virgin Hyperloop is not the only firm developing the concept, but no other company has carried passengers before. You can see the full story below.