Virgin Hyperloop One, a competitor to Elon Musk in seeking to first commercialize the Hyperloop for moving passengers and/or freight in travel pods through vacuum-sealed tubes at extraordinarily high speed, has released video of a full-scale working travel pod at its Mojave test tube track.
On Tuesday, Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Hyperloop One Chairman welcomed the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud (MbS) and the Minister of Defense of the Kingdom to the company’s research and test facilities in the Mojave Desert. Branson showed off the latest travel pod designed for Saudi Arabia’s reemergence after it restructures its economy by the end of the next decade.
The House of Saud has formulated a Vision 2030 plan that ushers in a complete transformation of its economy from fossil fuel to high-tech renewable energy. Here is what MbS said about incorporating fourth generation technologies, such as the Hyperloop into the Saudi Arabian economy:
"We’re look forward to advancing the relationship between KSA and VHO while we develop innovative transport technologies like hyperloop, accelerating Vision 2030 objectives to transform the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from a technology consumer to a technology innovator. “Hyperloop is the catalyst to enable all 4th generation technologies to flourish in the Kingdom while creating a vibrant society and thriving economy through visionary cities and high-tech clusters.”
During the visit, the Crown Prince and Virgin Hyperloop One executives discussed how incorporating the new form of high-tech transportation into the country’s economy would stimulate economic growth and lead to further diversification of Saudi industries — away from fossil fuels.
Hyperloop One executives told MbS that travel time from Riyadh to Jeddah could decrease to 76 minutes opposed to a 10-hour car ride while traveling from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi could be cut from 8.5-hours to a little under 50 minutes.
“Today’s visit and discussions kick off the next phase that will make VHO a reality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Rob Lloyd, CEO of VHO, said.
Branson’s Twitter shows a glimpse of the meeting:
Branson and MbS pose for a picture to the side of the travel pod.
In this picture, MbS glances at the rear end of a rocket’s propulsion system.
Wonderful hosting Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud in Mojave and showing him our exciting progress with our space companies and @Virgin @HyperloopOne https://t.co/2esIBxMgRq @Virgin_Orbit @VirginGalactic pic.twitter.com/Gn9dFiQeVg— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) April 3, 2018
More from Saudi Embassy
HRH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and @RichardBranson visited the @Virgingalactic test site at the Mojave airbase where HRH the Crown Prince unveiled the Vision 2030 Hyperloop Pod. #CrownPrinceInLA pic.twitter.com/Lit6UBf8to— Saudi Embassy (@SaudiEmbassyUSA) April 3, 2018
Introducing the Vision 2030 Hyperloop Pod: