Hyperloop One
Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One is shutting down

What To Know

  • In 2020, the company conducted a successful trial with two employees, marking the first passenger ride using hyperloop technology.
  • However, in 2022, the company shifted its focus to cargo transport instead of passenger travel, resulting in over 100 job losses and subsequent layoffs.
  • By the end of the year, Richard Branson, who served as the company chairman, disassociated from the venture, leading to the loss of Virgin’s endorsement.
  • Hyperloop One also faced controversies, including a director’s imprisonment in Russia on embezzlement charges and an investor’s departure in 2017 amid reported sexual misconduct allegations.

Hyperloop One, inspired by Elon Musk’s concept, aimed to significantly reduce travel times. Despite earlier endorsement from Virgin founder Richard Branson, who withdrew his support last year, the company plans to terminate its remaining workforce by the year’s end, according to Bloomberg.

The vision of Hyperloop One involved revolutionizing high-speed travel through the use of magnetic levitation (maglev) technology within a vacuum tube. This technology, already employed in some transport systems, minimizes friction and air resistance, enabling trains to reach speeds of 700mph (1,127km/h) while promoting environmental sustainability.

While Hyper One did create prototypes in the Nevada desert, the project faced challenges, with experts expressing concerns about engineering feasibility. The proposed construction of large tubes across landscapes and towns posed logistical issues, and the requirement for straight-line tubes presented challenges around corners.

Hyperloop One is closing its doors. What’s next in the world of transportation?

In 2020, the company conducted a successful trial with two employees, marking the first passenger ride using hyperloop technology. The pod reached a top speed of 107mph (172km/h) in the 546 yards (500m) test run. However, in 2022, the company shifted its focus to cargo transport instead of passenger travel, resulting in over 100 job losses and subsequent layoffs.

By the end of the year, Richard Branson, who served as the company chairman, disassociated from the venture, leading to the loss of Virgin’s endorsement. Hyperloop One also faced controversies, including a director’s imprisonment in Russia on embezzlement charges and an investor’s departure in 2017 amid reported sexual misconduct allegations.

The original hyperloop concept, proposed by Elon Musk in 2013, suggested propelling capsules through a tube at high speed. Elon Musk’s company, The Boring Company, is researching similar technology using underground tunnels.

Despite Hyperloop One’s challenges and closure, various companies worldwide continue to explore and develop the hyperloop concept. DP World, the Dubai-based majority stakeholder in Hyperloop One, has been contacted for comment.

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