These first ever human trials of a hyperloop system follow hundreds of unmanned test runs at the company's facility in Nevada, and bode well for its ability to safely transport people through near-vacuum tubes.
Over the past few years, Virgin Hyperloop has been testing its passenger pods at its 500-meter-long (1,600-ft) track in the Nevada desert, where it has hit speeds of nearly 387 km/h (240 mph) with no one onboard. These magnetically levitating pods travel through near-vacuum tubes and are designed to eventually hit speeds of around 1,200 km/h (745 mph), which would make it possible to travel from LA to San Francisco in just 30 minutes.
Proving this technology is safe for humans is obviously a key consideration for the Virgin Hyperloop team, and on Sunday it was able to take an important step towards that goal. The capsule used was a new prototype called the XP-2, which had been adapted to comfortably carry two human passengers.