FILE PHOTO: Journalists and guests look over tubes following a propulsion open-air test at Hyperloop One in North Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo
Hyperloop One once harboured ambitious plans of establishing a high-speed freight corridor connecting Europe and China, boasting the capability to transport cargo across the vast expanse within a single day. However, the company’s aspirations remain unfulfilled, as confirmed by a Hyperloop One staff member in response to a report from Bloomberg detailing the company’s closure. Established in 2014 following Elon Musk’s hyperloop vision paper, the company initially envisioned a revolutionary mode of transportation involving pods traversing sealed metal tubes at airplane-like speeds for both cargo and passengers over extensive distances.
Initially operating under the name Virgin Hyperloop One from 2017 to 2022, owing to an investment from Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, the company altered its course last year, abandoning passenger transport plans to concentrate on the development of a cargo-only service. This strategic shift prompted Virgin to discreetly withdraw its branding. The change in direction resulted in the layoff of over 100 staff members early last year as Hyperloop One redirected its focus.
According to Bloomberg, the company has grappled with financial challenges for an extended period and notably failed to secure any contracts for the construction of a functional hyperloop system. The latest development involves the termination of the majority of the remaining workforce, with the remaining employees scheduled for departure on December 31. During this transitional period, they are tasked with overseeing the sale of Hyperloop One’s assets, which include machinery and test tracks.