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Tue 30 Jul 2019
LOS ANGELES, CA, JULY 30, 2019 – Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO), today launched a first-of-its kind U.S. roadshow to bring its XP-1 hyperloop pod to communities across the United States and start a dialogue about the power of this new form of mass transportation.
“When government and investor delegations come to our test site, seeing the technology makes it real for them. Not everyone can come to the Nevada desert, so we’re bringing our technology to the people – the American people who will be riding this new form of transportation within a decade,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One.
On May 11, 2017, XP-1 completed the world’s first full-system hyperloop test – what VHO calls its “Kitty Hawk” moment. This was the first time any company had integrated all of the components of a hyperloop including a highly efficient motor, power electronics, magnetic levitation, vacuum pumping systems, and an aerodynamic vehicle as a single unified system. During testing, XP-1 set the full-scale hyperloop speed record of 240 miles per hour on just 550 yards of track.
The national roadshow kicks off as states and cities across the world are competing to be the first to implement hyperloop technology, realizing the significant socio-economic benefits of early adoption. Nine states are exploring the technology and the federal government has created the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council to advance safety and regulatory certification.
The roadshow will give local communities the chance to see first-hand the historic test pod and learn more about their states’ progress in bringing hyperloop to fruition in a matter of years. Below are the scheduled stops along the national roadshow route:
The first stop will be in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday, August 4th. VHO has partnered with The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) to host a STEM outreach day – featuring the XP-1 vehicle and hyperloop-related, hands-on activities for all ages. The event is free and open to the public from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM at COSI (333 West Broad St. Columbus, OH 43215).
As part of the Rapid Speed Transportation Initiative, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission is conducting a feasibility study of hyperloop technology along a Chicago-Columbus-Pittsburgh corridor, followed by components of an environmental impact statement along the same route.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Jay Walder and his team to Columbus. Since being named a winner of the Hyperloop One Global Challenge in 2017, we’ve been proud to work with VHO in advancing our ‘Midwest Connect’ corridor,” said William Murdock, executive director of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. “Showcasing VHO and the XP-1 pod in Columbus as the first stop on the U.S. roadshow offers the opportunity for our businesses, community leaders, and residents to see the impact this emerging technology could have on the future success of Central Ohio – and the entire Midwest.”
From Columbus, VHO will head to Arlington, Texas, where they’ve partnered with the Dallas Cowboys and the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) to unveil XP-1 at AT&T Stadium, the 4th largest in the NFL. The vehicle will be viewable during the scheduled stadium tours at AT&T Stadium (1 AT&T Way, Arlington, TX 76011). Make sure to get your tickets here.
The Dallas-Fort Worth region has focused its program on students of all ages interested in careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The stadium will be open on August 9th from 2:30 to 4:00 PM for an invitation-only event featuring students from area school districts and other campuses for demonstrations of technologies related to the hyperloop project.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Transportation Council announced their intent to evaluate hyperloop technology in Texas. The agency has begun a hyperloop feasibility study of a Fort Worth to Laredo route and an environmental impact study along a Dallas to Fort Worth corridor, which would include an Arlington station with access to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
“Our region is going to gain 3 million new residents within 25 years. In order to handle this mass influx of people, we need to explore projects that will modernize our transportation infrastructure,” said Michael Morris, P.E., Director of Transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments. “We are exploring hyperloop as a potential project that would connect millions of Texans faster, safer, and more efficiently.”
After a short hiatus, XP-1 will be back on the road. Thanks to the KC Tech Council and Am Law 100 firm Polsinelli, XP-1 will be speeding into the Kansas Speedway during the famed American Royal World Series of Barbecue – the world’s largest barbecue and Kansas City’s biggest party! On September 14th, better known as “Smokin’ Saturday,” XP-1 will be on display alongside other family-friendly programming like live music, BBQ demos, food trucks, a classic car show, and the Cowtown Family Fun Fest. The vehicle will be viewable from starting at 11:00 AM at the Kansas Speedway (400 Speedway Blvd, Kansas City, KS 66111). Tickets can be found here.
Following completion of the first hyperloop feasibility study in the U.S., House Speaker Elijah Haahr announced the formation of the Blue Ribbon Panel headed by Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, which will explore next steps and funding mechanisms for the Missouri Hyperloop project. The panel will report back with recommendations by September 2019.
“On behalf of Greg Kratofil, Jr. of Polsinelli and the KC Tech Council, we are thrilled to welcome the Virgin Hyperloop One XP-1 hyperloop vehicle to our great city of Kansas City,” said Ryan Weber, President of the KC Tech Council. “There has been so much excitement and interest in this technology, and we know the Kansas City tech community and general public will be receptive to the demonstration and learning more details. We encourage the community’s attendance at the American Royal World Series of Barbecue to view this cutting-edge vehicle in person, as we are confident it will play a key role in the future of our transportation.”
Beyond these cities, XP-1 also will be stopping throughout the heartland - at diners, hotels, museums, parks, state houses, and stadiums - to share the progress and promise of hyperloop technology.
This 4,000 mile route across the United States will today take 70 hours driving. With hyperloop, it would take about six.
Virgin Hyperloop is the only company in the world that has successfully tested hyperloop technology with passengers, launching the first new mode of mass transportation in over 100 years. The company successfully operated an occupied hyperloop vehicle using electric propulsion and electromagnetic levitation under near-vacuum conditions, realizing a fundamentally new form of transportation that is faster, safer, cheaper, and more sustainable than existing modes. The company is now working with governments, partners, and investors around the world to make hyperloop a reality in years, not decades. Learn more about Virgin Hyperloop's technology, vision, and ongoing projects here.
To download high-resolution route maps and visuals of VHO technology, please click here.
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We're a privately-held company on a mission to create fast, effortless journeys that expand possibilities and eliminate the barriers of distance and time.
There are too many people caught bumper-to-bumper in traffic, who have to make a hard choice with their family on where to live and work, and who are limited in their access to experiences and opportunities. We're building a system that will give back time and deliver the travel experience of the future.
The number of cars is set to double worldwide by 2040, same with air and trucking. We are already dealing with the effects of pollution, lack of access, and congestion. If we only invest in the same technologies we’ve had for more than a century, tomorrow will look like today, only much worse. It’s been over a century since the Wright Brothers first showed us human flight was possible. It’s time for a new era in transportation capable of carrying us forward for the next 100 years.
To date, we have received over $400 million.
A major investor of ours is DP World, a leading enabler of global trade who sees the potential of sustainable hyperloop-enabled cargo systems. Additionally, we are backed by the Virgin Group, an industry leader across rail, aviation, ships, and even spacecrafts. For more on our investors, visit the company page.
Virgin Hyperloop is the only hyperloop company that has a strategic partnership with a mass transportation company, the Virgin Group, an industry leader across rail, aviation, ships, and even spacecrafts. Another key partner of ours is DP World, a leading enabler of global trade who sees the potential of sustainable hyperloop-enabled cargo systems. Other industry-leading partners include Spirit AeroSystems, KPMG, Foster + Partners, Systra, BIG, SNCF, GE, Deutsche Bahn, Black & Veatch, McKinsey, Deloitte, Jacobs, Turner & Townsend, ARUP, and Steer, among others.
No, there’s no connection with Elon Musk.
We aren't just building a hyperloop; we're building a network of public and private partners to scale an integrated supply chain ecosystem. Our business model is based on partnerships that create local jobs and opportunities for those who choose to invest in this technology. We are working at the highest level of governments around the globe to put in place commercial agreements to make hyperloop a reality.
Hyperloop is a new mode of transportation designed to eliminate the barriers of distance and time for both people and freight. It can travel at speeds approaching 700mph, connecting cities like metro stops - and it has zero direct emissions. The journeys can be booked on demand so there’s no wait time or delays.
With hyperloop, vehicles, called pods, accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube. The pod floats along the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag.
Yes. We’ve successfully run hundreds of tests at our full-scale prototype in the Nevada desert. On November 8, 2020, the first passengers traveled safely on a hyperloop – making transportation history. This test demonstrated that we can safely put a person in a near-vacuum environment, and our entire safety approach was validated by an independent third party.
We estimate that the top speed for a passenger vehicle or light cargo will be 670 miles per hour or 1080 kilometers per hour. That is about 3 times faster than high-speed rail and 10-15 times faster than traditional rail. The average speed vehicles travel will vary based on the route and customer requirements.
A perfect vacuum would decrease the drag on the vehicle even more, but not significantly. We have already gotten rid of 99.9% of the air in the tube. Lower levels of vacuum than this are important if you are performing scientific experiments, but the cost would not be worthwhile.
Hyperloop is an entirely new mode - think the best of trains, planes, and the metro. Hyperloop is on-demand, offering flexible travel schedules with no stops, no transfers, and no weather delays – all at speeds about 3 times faster than high-speed-rail and less cost. Hyperloop is highly efficient, with a smaller environmental impact than high-speed rail because the closed system can be tunneled below or elevated above ground, avoiding dangerous at-grade crossings. The VH system is 100% electric and can reach higher speeds than high-speed rail for less energy due to our proprietary electric motor and low-drag environment.
Fast, effortless journeys go hand-in-hand with journeys where everything works reliably without interference, and where all passengers feel comfortable and safe. The Virgin Hyperloop is designed to be inherently safer than other modes, with multiple redundancies in place. Our system operates autonomously in an enclosed tube and is not susceptible to weather delays, accidents from at-grade crossings, human error, or power outages. Our proprietary high-speed switching architecture eliminates unsafe track configurations and moving trackside parts, a failure point of traditional rail with mechanical switches.
As new mode, we have to prove our safety case to regulators and work with them to develop a regulatory framework, so passengers can ride the hyperloop in years not decades. We are encouraged by the support we are seeing at the local and federal level around the world to support hyperloop certification based on the fundamentals of safe operating that are already standard practice. Our goal is to achieve safety certification by 2025. We are on track to meet this goal and have unveiled West Virginia as the home of the world’s first Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC). This announcement builds off of significant progress around the world on the regulatory front. In July 2020, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Elaine Chao and the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council unveiled the guidance document on a clear regulatory framework for hyperloop in the United States. In the EU, the European Commission (EC) has just released the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy and hyperloop is explicitly identified as a game-changing mobility technology. We are also working closely with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DGMOVE) and Shift2Rail to deliver the next wave of sustainable mobility through robust regulatory standards. In India, the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Government of India, Prof. Vijayraghavan, has set up an independent committee called the Consultative Group on Future of Transportation (CGFT) to explore the regulatory path for hyperloop. For more, visit our regulatory progress pages.
While flying through a tube at more than 1000km/h might seem like a thrill ride, the truth is we are able to mitigate any uncomfortable acceleration forces within our controlled environment. The journey will be so smooth, you could sip a coffee the whole time without spilling a single drop. Normal acceleration and deceleration of 0.20 Gs will feel similar to a train. As a comparison, flooring a typical sedan gives between 0.4-0.5 Gs and commercial airplanes see 0.3-0.5Gs depending on the plane and load.
Pods will continue to travel safely to the next portal even with a large breach. Our response to a breach would be to intentionally repressurize the tube with small valves placed along the route length while engaging pod brakes to safely bring all pods to rest before it is deemed safe to continue to the next portal. A sustained leak could impact performance (speed) but would not pose a safety issue due to vehicle and system architectural design choices. This assessment is based on a solid understanding and analysis of the complex vehicle load behaviors during such an event.
Without a massive leap forward, pollution from the transportation industry is expected to almost double by 2050 - well above the carbon budget. By combining an ultra-efficient electric motor, magnetic levitation, and a low-drag environment, the VH system can reach airline speeds for 5-10x less energy (depends on route length) and can go faster than high-speed rail using less energy. In regions like the Middle East, we could power the system completely by solar panels which cover the tube. As fighting against climate change becomes an existential issue for cities across the globe, hyperloop will create a new, shared, electric mobility model for helping to permanently reform an industry with some of the world’s highest carbon emissions.
We are designing Virgin Hyperloop to be more efficient than other modes of transportation. Modern jetliners use up to 10 times the energy we use per passenger-mile over the entire journey. We can cruise at 500 miles per hour for less energy (per passenger) than an electric car doing 60 miles per hour. At peak speed, the VH system consumes approximately 75 watt hours per passenger kilometer (Wh/pax-km). To put this in perspective, the fastest conventional maglev train travels at about half our speed and consumes 33% more energy.
Our system is 100% electric with zero direct emissions. We're energy-agnostic. Our system can draw power from whichever energy sources are available along the route and support a transition to a renewable energy-powered future. In regions like the Middle East, we can completely power the system with solar panels which cover the tube.
It’s similar those new electric vehicles that are so quiet they need to create noise to indicate movement. With hyperloop, we eliminate sources of mechanical noise, like wheels on track, and we actually have a sound barrier inherent in our tube design
DP World Cargospeed is a global brand for hyperloop-enabled cargo systems operated by DP World and enabled by Virgin Hyperloop technology. These systems will deliver freight at the speed of flight and closer to the cost of trucking for fast, sustainable, and efficient delivery of palletized cargo.
The focus would be on high-priority, on-demand goods – fresh food, medical supplies, electronics, and more.
With DP World Cargospeed, deliveries can be completed in hours versus days with greater reliability and fewer delays. It will expand freight transportation capacity by connecting with existing modes of road, rail, ports, and air transport, and will provide greater connectivity with manufacturing parks, economic zones, distribution centers, and regional urban centers. This can shrink inventory lead times, help reduce finished goods inventory, and cut required warehouse space and cost by 25%. DP World Cargospeed networks can also enable just-in-time, agile manufacturing practices.
The Virgin Hyperloop is unique in that it doesn’t need to be passenger-only or cargo-only. We are designing a mixed-use system that fully utilizes system capacity while maximizing economic and social benefits. However, it is possible to run cargo commercial operations while certification and regulation are still ongoing for passenger use.
We are working with the most visionary governments around the world to make sure you can ride the hyperloop in years, not decades. Our goal is to have operational systems in the late 2020s. Our ability to meet that goal will depend on how fast the regulatory and statutory processes move.
We are working with visionary governments and partners around the world to make hyperloop a reality today. To learn more about our projects around the world, visit our progress page.
Capital and operating costs will range widely based on the route. We recently released a study that showed our linear costs are 60-70% that of high-speed rail projects. In addition, we expect the operational costs to be significantly lower than existing forms of transportation.
It’s simple – if it’s not affordable, people won't use it. We are looking to build something that will expand opportunities for the masses, so they can live in one city with their family and work in another. Currently, that kind of high-speed transport is not feasible for most people. The exact ticket price will vary for each route, but a recent study showed that riding a hyperloop in Missouri could cost less than the gas needed to drive.
We are in the business of serving local needs, not the other way around. Public and private support is key. In some cases, we will respond to solicited bids with partners when we feel the technology matches the project’s objectives. In other cases, we will make an unsolicited bid for a project when we see that hyperloop could offer a unique solution to market needs.
While the technology is different, the process for building a hyperloop is similar to that of building a highway, railway, or any other type of linear infrastructure. The first stage is project development. This phase includes feasibility studies, and then more detailed engineering reports and environmental impact studies. Once a project is approved to move forward, a consortium is formed to finance and deliver on the project.
Many infrastructure projects succeed or fail based on right-of-way issues. We are designing a system that requires only about half the right-of-way as high-speed rail and can more easily adapt to existing right-of-ways. At high speeds, the VH system has a 4.5 times tighter turn radius compared to high-speed rail and can climb grades that are 6 times steeper, reducing the disturbance at crossings. Portals will be purposely integrated into and support existing communities and landscapes. Low noise levels will expand opportunities to build hyperloops closer to the city center.
Hyperloop also holds enormous promise for rural communities. Virgin Hyperloop systems can be built below or above ground, which means no one’s farm needs to be cut in half. Our system enables rural areas to retain residents, who can now have more access to urban job centers, educational opportunities, and health care facilities. Additionally, hyperloop could enable freight distribution centers to be placed in rural areas, leading to job growth and industrial clusters. After a system is built, there is the opportunity to add additional on and off-ramps, supporting a greater number of people along the route.
Transportation infrastructure has traditionally relied on extensive government funding. This is because the benefits of clean, safe, and efficient transportation are enjoyed by the entire community, not just the user buying a ticket. However, most existing mass transportation modes are unprofitable and hindered by existing infrastructure built in the past century or by legacy systems. We want to change that and are focused on public-private partnerships. By developing a new mode of transportation from scratch, we're able to leverage technological developments that have occurred in the last century, especially the IT revolution. We're able to keep maintenance costs low, energy efficiency high, and transport tens of thousands of passengers per hour. This keeps margins and accessibility high, contributing to more financially attractive returns than if the corridor was served by existing modes. These benefits aren’t just hypothetical. While this is an exceptional case due to high demand, a third-party evaluation found that our Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop Project could be funded 100% by private capital. In the U.S. we see enormous potential to attract investment from the private sector, leveraging public investments. Involving government stakeholders as well as potential private investors early in the project development process is critical.
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