Innovation

Virgin Hyperloop: What it will be like to be a passenger

Virgin Hyperloop released this week a concept video with its vision of future high-speed transit in action.

The video zooms in on design and passenger experience rather than Hyperloop’s underlying technology.

Hyperloop terminals will be just as important as the pods themselves for reaching Virgin’s goal of moving thousands of people every hour.

The Hyperloop concept station in the video resembles a futuristic airport — one that’s cleaner and more efficient than anything likely to exist in real life.

Virgin Hyperloop envisions passengers booking passage just minutes before departure, as they enter the station.

The concept passenger pods, created by design firm Teague, are kitted out with displays showing pod speed and ETA. But the pods also lack windows.

Virgin Hyperloop pods will hold 28 passengers, and each will move independently to its destination with no stops along the way.

From start to finish, the ideal Hyperloop ride is as frictionless as possible, but for now, this is just a concept.

Virgin Hyperloop is based on Elon Musk’s 2013 white paper, which received a number of criticisms when it was released.

Feasibility studies found Hyperloop construction may cost much more than proposed in the Hyperloop Alpha white paper, and the high cost to passengers has also been criticized.

No test has yet come close to the proposed 700+ miles per hour at which the Hyperloop could ostensibly carry passengers. The highest speed to date is 288 miles per hour.

A study from British transit firm TRL shows the Hyperloop could outpace high-speed rail in capacity, but would need to depart every 113 seconds to do so.

The new Hyperloop concept paints a compelling picture of the future of travel, even as plenty of questions about its feasibility remain unanswered.

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