Richard Branson with Virgin Hyperloop One executivesEnlarge Photo
The CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, may have initially proposed the idea of the Hyperloop, but the legendary entrepreneur only began work on his own Hyperloop system recently after offering the idea to the world a four years ago as an open-source project of sorts. In the meantime, a company by the name of Hyperloop One has worked most diligently on the transportation method, and now it has a new name.
Following a sizable capital investment, Hyperloop One announced it will henceforth be known as Virgin Hyperloop One, named after Richard Branson's Virgin Group. Branson has joined the company's board of directors, per an announcement from the newly renamedVirgin Hyperloop One company. According to CNBC, Hyperloop One previously said it raised an additional $85 million in financing last month, making a total investment of $245 million thus far. It's unclear how much Branson and Virgin invested into the budding transportation company to get the naming rights.
Hyperloop proposes moving passengers in capsules on tracks inside dedicated tubes, powered by a linear synchronous motor that creates an electromagnetic field, at speeds up to 800 mph. The motor interacts with a set of permanent magnets on the tube sled. Hyperloop One previously carried out a full-scale test last year, but it limited capsule speeds to 120 mph. If companies achieve Musk's suggested speeds of 800 mph, it would cut travel times dramatically.
“At the moment our trains are limited to 125 miles an hour... There are consumers, for instance, that would love to go from London to Edinburgh in roughly 45 minutes. And that will be possible [with hyperloop]," Branson said.
As for Musk, he recently announced intentions to build his own Hyperloop with support from The Boring Company, yet another Musk endeavor. The CEO originally said he was too busy with Tesla and SpaceX to pursue his own Hyperloop project. However, SpaceX owns the rights to the Hyperloop name and the associated internet domain. SpaceX said it will allow anyone to use the name "as long as they are truthful," and it "encourages and supports all companies that wish to build Hyperloops."