Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop is one step closer to becoming a reality, with the futuristic transportation system shuttling human passengers for the first time this weekend.
The high-speed travel pod, which the company hopes will one day be able to shuttle passengers from New York to DC in just 30 minutes, successfully ran a low-speed test with passengers at its Nevada facility.
The Hyperloop is designed to shoot passenger pods through a vacuum tube at speeds in excess of 600 miles per hour, propelled by magnetic levitation. Sunday’s test, however, was conducted at a comparatively leisurely 100 miles per hour, and carried the company’s chief technology officer and director of passenger experience.
The passengers were transported 500 meters in 15 seconds, Virgin Hyperloop said. The company had previously run 400 tests at the site just outside Las Vegas, albeit without passengers.
Though the test pod was only designed to fit two people, Virgin said that its final production model will be designed to seat up to 28 passengers.
“With today’s successful test, we have shown that this spirit of innovation will in fact change the way people everywhere live, work, and travel in the years to come,” Virgin founder Richard Branson said in a statement.
Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk is credited with introducing the hyperloop concept in 2013.