Virgin pushes hyperloop to next level

9 October 2020

Virgin Hyperloop, the company set up by Sir Richard Branson to exploit hyperloop technology, has announced that West Virginia in the US will be the location for the global Hyperloop Certification Centre (HCC).

The establishment of the HCC comes after years of testing and developing hyperloop at the full-scale test site. Virgin Group founder Branson said: “The Hyperloop Certification Centre is the start of the hyperloop journey for West Virginia, for the United States, and for the world. We’re one step closer to making hyperloop travel a reality for people everywhere.”

According to a statement from Virgin Hyperloop, the HCC will provide opportunities for regulators, governments, companies and universities from around the world to forge global, ground-breaking partnerships surrounding all elements of the new transportation technology.

“The Hyperloop Certification Centre will be a global hub for hyperloop,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop. “Our goal is to bring together authorities from around the world to set global safety and industry standards for this new mode of ultra-fast, zero-emissions mode of transport.”

The announcement comes at a time of intense activity in hyperloop globally: progress is being made in Europe on the regulatory front, where a baseline has now been established to lay guidelines for hyperloop systems and safety requirements.

Furthermore, the European Commission has started a nine-month study to develop a safety regulatory approach for Europe. It will build on the results to develop the regulatory policy for hyperloop technologies.

Meanwhile, a guidance document was recently produced by the US Department of Transportation and the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology Council on a clear regulatory framework for hyperloop in the US. This is hoped will provide a pathway to regulation and establish the eligibility criteria which hyperloop projects must meet to receive federal funding.