Technology

Virgin to showcase full-scale hyperloop passenger pod

30 September 2021
A cutaway look at Virgin Hyperloop’s passenger pod complete with seating. A full scale passenger pod would include many more seats in an oval shape. Source: Virgin Hyperloop

Virgin Hyperloop plans to showcase a full-scale hyperloop cargo pod and a full-scale cutaway of its planned passenger pod at the upcoming Expo 2020 trade show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The company will show a full-scale commercial cargo pod replica, which measures about 32 ft long. Additionally, attendees will be able to sit inside a cutaway passenger pod complete with production intent finishes to see what a future journey on a hyperloop would feel like.

“The constant flow of goods has historically driven innovation in the transportation sector and now more than ever, we must continue to future-proof the industry,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, chairman of Virgin Hyperloop. “Hyperloop is poised to revolutionize the global on-demand logistics market, and we are excited to share our vision for the technology in the DP World FLOW pavilion at Expo 2020.”

Hyperloop is the so-called fifth mode of transportation. Hyperloop technology uses magnetic levitation to lift a pod off the track and guide it as it moves, creating a friction-free track. Almost all the air in the tube surrounding the pod is removed to create the same environment found at 200,000 ft above sea level. The combination of the linear motor, magnetic levitation and low-pressure tube reduces drag so that only a small amount of electricity is needed to propel the pod at speeds as high as 670 mph. This could possibly create a more cost-effective system than high-speed rail or airline transportation.

Virgin Hyperloop has been active in its testing of hyperloop technology, billing itself as the first to have passengers travel in a pod last year. It also released renderings of how it viewed an entire hyperloop system would work, complete with pods traveling from city to city and hauling cargo through different stops.

In August, hyperloop technology was included in the proposed $1.2 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which has passed the U.S. Senate. If passed, this means hyperloop technology would be eligible for federal funding, a huge step forward for the proposed transportation.

Expo 2020 opens on Oct. 1 and runs through next year.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


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