Hyperloop One was already the coolest thing in tech, based on technology born from the brain of Elon Musk, now it’s got nobility on the team. The company today announced Sir Richard Branson and his company Virgin were investing in Hyperloop One, where he’s obtained a seat on the board.
If this doesn’t legitimize Hyperloop One to the unwashed non-believers, nothing will.
Introducing @Virgin @HyperloopOne – the world’s most revolutionary train service https://t.co/aac70ry2oF pic.twitter.com/roC5Ay8RpF
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) October 12, 2017
While the extent of Virgin’s investment hasn’t been disclosed, it was significant enough to warrant a re-branding under the name Virgin Hyperloop One.
Branson visited the company’s test site in Nevada this summer where he was impressed by the technology. His takeaway from the meeting was one of pure optimism:
I am convinced this groundbreaking technology will change transportation as we know it and dramatically cut journey times. Virgin has been known for investing in and creating innovative companies over the years, and I look forward to making history together as we bring Hyperloop to the world as Virgin Hyperloop One.
The future of transportation is super fast pods which use magnetic levitation to send people zooming through vacuum tubes at jetliner speeds, and Hyperloop One is on the brink of delivering. Several successful tests have taken the idea from concept to reality, and CEO Rob Lloyd is insistent that the company will make good by 2020.
The Virgin Hyperloop One website has a nifty calculator that will show you how much time a hyperloop could save you. If you’re planning on flying from Silicon Valley to New York, for example, it’ll take you eight hours, but a hyperloop could cut that down to less than five. And chances are you won’t get strip-searched to ride in a pod.
This strategic partnership is good for both companies, Richard Branson is — quite literally — a knight of entrepreneurship, his investments tend to do well. Plus, Virgin Group has a pedigree in the travel industry and the tech industry with Virgin Airlines and Virgin Mobile.
Branson’s involvement further indicates this thing is really, really, for real.