Virgin Hyperloop One, backed by Richard Branson, recently demonstrated its full-scale Hyperloop system to a Saudi Arabian delegation including Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud.
This latest test was showcased in a YouTube video but the company has yet to say whether or not it reached any milestones during the tests.
In December, the Mojave test site saw a full-scale pod reach speeds of over 240 mph (386 km/h). As impressive as that feat is, it is still well below the 670 mph (1078 km/h) top speed the company intends on its completed Hyperloop traveling.
The company, created shortly after Elon Musk first proposed the Hyperloop in 2013, has proposed a series of Hyperloop tunnels throughout Saudi Arabia. One of these tunnels could run between the cities of Riyadh and Jeddah and slash travel time to just 76 minutes compared to the 10 hours needed by car. A tunnel between Riyadh and Abu Dhabi is also a possibility.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) April 3, 2018
Branson has big dreams for Musk’s vision
Up until October 2017, Virgin Hyperloop One, then known as Hyperloop One, was operating through private investors and leading the charge to make this new form of transport a reality. Eager to play his part, entrepreneur Richard Branson announced a significant investment in the company towards the end of last year that included a name change and saw him take up the position of chairman.
At the time, Branson said the Hyperloop will act as the perfect middle ground between trains and airplanes.
“As a train owner, I felt this is something that I want to be able to operate. 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.
“You can have a pod outside your office that you and your colleagues can jump into. The pod can self-drive to the top of the tunnel. It then goes down the tunnel. It connects up and off you go at 600, 700 miles an hour up to your destination, going faster than an airline,” Branson said.