Over the past few months, Virgin Hyperloop One has been bringing its XP-1 test Pod on a cross-country roadshow, allowing residents in cities that may adopt the technology to learn more about the project and its progress. They made a stop at Rockefeller Plaza last Friday, as the New York Post reported, giving visitors a glimpse inside the 20-foot vessel that may one day get passengers from NYC to Washington DC in just 30 minutes.
“It’s propelled using electromagnetic propulsion; it actually lifts up on the tracks like it’s floating,” marketing director Ryan Kelly explained during the event, according to the Post. “Because it runs in a tube, where there’s almost zero aerodynamic drag, it allows us to go as fast as a plane.” Reps for the project said the vehicle can reach speeds of nearly 600 mph.
“New York is obviously a global city, we came here for the sustainability aspect of this,” Kelly added. “We see big value in connecting cities like metro stops…New York to Washington would be great.”
The concept for Hyperloop was first dreamt up by Elon Musk in 2012 and open-sourced for others to develop. On May 11, 2017, Virgin Hyperloop One’s XP-1 completed the world’s first full-system test—the company called it their “Kitty Hawk” moment. A press release explains that the recent roadshow has been a way of encouraging early adoption. Ten states are now exploring the technology, including Missouri, Texas, Colorado, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Washington, Indiana, and Oregon, in addition to Nevada where the test site is located. The government created the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology Council to standardize Hyperloop technology and advance safety and regulatory certifications.
The technology appears to be on track for a 2029 debut in the US with NYC on the shortlist of launch cities.
The Post reported that the company may already have a deal in the works to install the Hyperloop system between Mumbai and Pune in India.