Hyperloop One becomes 'Virgin Hyperloop One' with Virgin Group investment


The company will rebrand as Virgin Hyperloop One and Sir Richard will join the Los Angeles-based firm's board as part of the investment, worth an undisclosed amount.

Virgin Group already has a hand in space travel through its Virgin Galactic spaceflight company, and now the group is investing in high-speed transportation.

"You may first have heard of the original hyperloop name through Elon Musk", Branson wrote in a blog post announcing the deal.

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.

By using magnetic levitation and electric propulsion to accelerate a pod through a tube at near-vacuum, hyperloop hopefuls believe they can transport passengers at speeds up to 700 miles per hour, providing airline speeds on the ground. Going forward, Hyperloop One will now be known as Virgin Hyperloop One.

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The technology for Hyperloop One is now in the early stages of the commercialisation phase after the successful completion of the world's first full scale hyperloop systems test at the DevLoop site outside Las Vegas.

Now that Richard Branson and Virgin Group have thrown their support behind Hyperloop One, two billionaire transportation moguls will be competing to build the high-speed ground transit of the future.

TechCrunch notes that included in the re-branding, Virgin Hyperloop One will now be associated with Virgin Group's other projects. The company was embroiled in a messy lawsuit a year ago between its two founders. Among all of the honey pots Virgin has dipped its hand in over the years are ventures in travel, commercial spaceflight, and commercial aviation, so Virgin has been around the block a few times when it comes to getting people from point A to point B. We'll see just how much of an asset Virgin's know-how is to the development of Hyperloop One soon enough, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Musk is now working part-time on a similar project, called The Boring Company.