Richard Branson bets on Hyperloop One

British billionaire Richard Branson has placed another bet on the future with an investment in Hyperloop One, which is developing super high-speed transportation systems.

He has joined the board of Hyperloop One, with the company saying Branson’s Virgin Group would take the company global and it would rebrand itself as Virgin Hyperloop One in the near future.

Hyperloop One develops pods that will transport passenger and mixed-use cargo at speeds of 402 kilometres an hour.
The pod lifts above a track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances because of low aerodynamic drag.

The company did not disclose the size of the investment.
Hyperloop One was originally conceptualised by Elon Musk. In July, Musk said he had received verbal approval to start building the systems that would link New York and Washington, cutting travel time to about half an hour.

Last month, Hyperloop One raised $US85 million ($A109 million) in new funding, bringing the total financing raised to $US245 million since it was founded in 2014.

Hyperloop One’s co-founders, executive chairman Shervin Pishevar and president of engineering Josh Giegel, have previously worked at Virgin Galactic.

Virgin Galactic, Branson’s space company, was in 2016 granted an operating licence to fly its passenger rocketship with the world’s first paying space tourists once final safety tests are completed.

“Virgin Hyperloop One will be all-electric and the team is working on ensuing it is a responsible and sustainable form of transport,” Virgin Group said in a statement.

Hyperloop One is also working on projects in the Middle East, Europe, India and Canada, according to the statement.

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