Months after its first passenger testing, Virgin Hyperloop has unveiled a new concept video, which takes the viewer step-by-step through a hyperloop journey, from arriving at the portal to boarding the pod. “Showing the passenger experience of Virgin Hyperloop is a glimpse of the future, following the success three months ago when people rode in a hyperloop pod for the first time,” said Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop and Group Chairman and CEO of DP World.
The designs and concepts seen in the video imitate what the global hyperloop systems would look like, including India’s operations. It shows that each hyperloop vehicle will carry only about 28 passengers.“We have demonstrated the maturity of our technology. We are getting closer to the commercialization of what will be the first new mass-scale transportation mode in a century,” Sulayem added.
“Imagine being able to travel between Mumbai and Pune in under 30 minutes, with a seamless and relaxing end-to-end journey,” said Harj Dhaliwal, Virgin Hyperloop’s Managing Director of the Middle East and India. “We are committed to bringing this vision to life – in Maharashtra and beyond – and are working closely with our partners, investors, and governments to do just that.”
Interestingly, for the Hyperloop, the company researched heavily on sound.
“We respond to sound quicker than any other sense, so sound actually drives the multi-sensory experiences. The Virgin Hyperloop identity system’s sonic cues serve as a guide for passengers throughout their experience while instilling confidence, safety, and clarity – you ‘feel’ it rather than ‘hear’ it. Just like a great movie score, it tells you the story. We know when we’ve got it right when you don’t notice the sound at all: the interface is humanized in ways that are both fresh and familiar,” said Joel Beckerman, Founder and Lead Composer at Man Made Music. Hyperloop is working with Man Made Music for the score and sonic identity of the transportation.
As for the cost of travel in the Virgin Hyperloop, a recent study in Ohio, USA, found that Hyperloop fares would be more akin to the cost of driving rather than flying.
After its first passenger testing, Virgin Hyperloop is currently waiting for regulation and certification of hyperloop systems worldwide – including those in India.
Virgin Hyperloop aims to achieve safety certification by 2025, with commercial operations beginning in 2030. The company is working on the Mumbai-Pune hyperloop project, which would connect the cities under 25 minutes with zero direct emissions. Beyond Maharashtra, Virgin Hyperloop is also working with Bangalore International Airports Limited (BIAL) to conduct a feasibility study for a proposed hyperloop corridor from BLR Airport.
The conversation about a hyperloop project in India has been going on since December 2016. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) had reached out to the Indian government five years ago, followed by Virgin Hyperloop One signing agreements with Maharashtra and Karnataka’s governments in 2017 to study the impact of a hyperloop in the region.