LOS ANGELES: The Virgin Hyperloop made its first journey carrying passengers on Sunday, in a test the company claimed represented a major step forward for the “groundbreaking” technology capable of transporting people at 1,000 kilometres an hour.

The Hyperloop is intended to carry passengers in small pods through a vacuum tube, with proponents arguing it could revolutionise high-speed travel.

Virgin said the Hyperloop would be able to reach top speeds of 1,080 kilometres an hour — projecting a 45-minute journey from Los Angeles to San Francisco — and will produce no carbon emissions.

But until Sunday the technology, first proposed by eccentric US tech magnate Elon Musk in 2012, had not been tested with people on board.

Two Virgin employees made the 500-metre journey in a two-person vehicle in just 15 seconds at a test site in the Nevada desert.

Passenger Sara Luchian told the BBC she felt the trip was “exhilarating both psychologically and physically”, and reported no discomfort.

Once brought into regular use, the pods will be able to transport up to 28 people at a time.

Virgin’s Hyperloop has raised more than $400 million, largely from company chief executive Richard Branson.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2020

Opinion

Zero carbon race
22 Jan 2021

Zero carbon race

Over 100 countries, including Pakistan, have failed to submit their national commitments to cut emissions.
Sports for all
22 Jan 2021

Sports for all

We need a certain level of fitness to observe God’s law.
Normalcy restored
Updated 22 Jan 2021

Normalcy restored

So long as invoking domestic and foreign ‘enemies’ is our ‘normal’, expect our tryst with praetorianism to continue unabated.
The hazards of governance
Updated 21 Jan 2021

The hazards of governance

The most efficient administrations derive their strength from the quality and regularity of intra-department consultation.

Editorial

Updated 22 Jan 2021

Time to heal

A multitude of foreign issues will test Biden’s mettle and require progressive thinking.
22 Jan 2021

Foreign funding

AS the pressure builds on his party in the foreign funding case, Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for an ...
22 Jan 2021

Decaying PTV

THE Cabinet Committee on State-Owned Enterprises has decided to remove Pakistan Television from the list of...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Agosta kickbacks trial

A POLITICALLY significant trial opened in Paris yesterday. Former French prime minister Edouard Balladur is in the...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Indian media scandal

Common sense, factual reporting and ethics are all chucked out the window in the maddening race for ratings, influence and power.
21 Jan 2021

Rising food prices

FOOD inflation continues to challenge the resolve of the government to control the prices of essential kitchen items...