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Press Release

First Passengers Travel Safely on a Hyperloop

Virgin Hyperloop’s XP-2 Vehicle

The newly-unveiled hyperloop vehicle that transported the first passengers, Josh Giegel, and Sara Luchian, for this historic test.

Josh Giegel, CTO and Co-Founder, and Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience, make history as the first to ride– bringing hyperloop one step closer to realisation in the Middle East
DP World’s Chairman and CEO watches event first-hand in Nevada
Enormous potential for the GCC to lead the world in hyperloop manufacturing, investment and job creation

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Virgin Hyperloop made history today as the first people successfully traveled in a hyperloop pod. Dubai-based leading global provider of smart logistics solutions, DP World, has made a multi-million dollar investment for the research and development of hyperloop technology, leading to today’s milestone.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop and Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, watched this passenger testing first-hand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I had the true pleasure of seeing history made before my very eyes – to witness the first new mode of mass transportation in over 100 years come to life,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop and Group Chairman and CEO of DP World. “I have always had tremendous faith in the team at Virgin Hyperloop to transform this technology into a safe system, and today we have done that. We are one step closer to ushering in a new era of ultra-fast, sustainable movement of people and goods.”

He added: “DP World and Dubai are at the forefront of technological innovation in the transport and logistics industry. The world has been changing quickly and we wanted to be involved in the potential this mode of mass transportation presents, to connect markets and economies, keep trade flowing and help build the global economy’s next phase to accelerate growth.”

This historic testing milestone, combined with the advancements at the Hyperloop Certification Center, will pave the way for the certification of hyperloop systems around the world – a key step towards commercial projects, including those in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, and Sara Luchian, Director of Passenger Experience, were the first people in the world to ride on this new form of transportation. The test took place at Virgin Hyperloop’s 500-meter DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the company has previously run over 400 un-occupied tests.

“When we started in a garage over 6 years ago, the goal was simple – to transform the way people move,” said Josh Giegel, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Virgin Hyperloop. “Today, we took one giant leap toward that ultimate dream, not only for me, but for all of us who are looking towards a moonshot right here on Earth.”

The occupants made their maiden voyage on the newly-unveiled XP-2 vehicle, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, which was custom-built with occupant safety and comfort in mind. While the production vehicle will be larger and seat up to 28 passengers, this 2-seater XP-2 vehicle was built to demonstrate that passengers can in fact safely travel in a hyperloop vehicle.

The testing campaign, from the beginning stages all the way through to today’s successful demonstration, was overseen by the industry-recognized Independent Safety Assessor (ISA) Certifer. Having undergone a rigorous and exhaustive safety process, the XP-2 vehicle demonstrates many of the safety-critical systems that will be found on a commercial hyperloop system and is equipped with a state-of-the-art control system that can detect off-nominal states and rapidly trigger appropriate emergency responses.

“I can’t tell you how often I get asked ‘is hyperloop safe?,’” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop. “With today’s passenger testing, we have successfully answered this question, demonstrating that not only can Virgin Hyperloop safely put a person in a pod in a vacuum environment, but that the company has a thoughtful approach to safety which has been validated by an independent third party.”

Virgin Hyperloop continues to be active in the Gulf region. Saudi Arabia is leading the world with a first-of-its-kind national hyperloop study to evaluate how a hyperloop carrying both passenger and cargo could spark economic benefits, create jobs and develop high-tech skills. The study, commissioned by Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, will lay the groundwork for a network of hyperloop routes to be considered ‎across Saudi Arabia.

“Today’s successful passenger testing brings us one step closer to commercial hyperloop projects in the Gulf region,” said Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director of Middle East and India for Virgin Hyperloop. “Fundamentally, hyperloop is about so much more than the technology – it’s about what it enables. The potential is enormous for the GCC to lead the world in hyperloop manufacturing, investment, and job creation.”

Virgin Hyperloop also announced a partnership with Abu Dhabi’s Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) to support the development of hyperloop technology and sustainable transportation through advanced A.I. research.

Media Assets
Media assets can be found here. Please credit Virgin Hyperloop.

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About Virgin Hyperloop
Virgin Hyperloop is the only company in the world that has successfully tested hyperloop technology at scale, launching the first new mode of mass transportation in over 100 years. The company successfully operated a full-scale hyperloop vehicle using electric propulsion and electromagnetic levitation under near-vacuum conditions, realizing a fundamentally new form of transportation that is faster, safer, cheaper, and more sustainable than existing modes. The company is now working with governments, partners, and investors around the world to make hyperloop a reality in years, not decades. Learn more about Virgin Hyperloop’s technology, vision, and ongoing projects here.

About DP World
We are the leading provider of worldwide smart end-to-end supply chain logistics, enabling the flow of trade across the globe. Our comprehensive range of products and services covers every link of the integrated supply chain – from maritime and inland terminals to marine services and industrial parks as well as technology-driven customer solutions.

We deliver these services through an interconnected global network of 128 business units in 60 countries across six continents, with a significant presence both in high-growth and mature markets. Wherever we operate, we integrate sustainability and responsible corporate citizenship into our activities, striving for a positive contribution to the economies and communities where we live and work.

Our dedicated, diverse and professional team of more than 53,000 employees from 131 countries are committed to delivering unrivalled value to our customers and partners. We do this by focusing on mutually beneficial relationships – with governments, shippers, traders, and other stakeholders along the global supply chain – relationships built on a foundation of mutual trust and enduring partnership.

We think ahead, anticipate change and deploy industry-leading technology to further broaden our digital vision to disrupt world trade and create the smartest, most efficient and innovative solutions, while ensuring a positive and sustainable impact on economies, societies and our planet.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/587b9f5e-9566-47c8-bfe8-e07385bb1365

For Virgin Hyperloop media enquiries, please contact: 
Ryan Kelly
Vice President of Marketing and Communications
press@virginhyperloop.com
+1 (610) 442-1896

For DP World media enquiries, please contact: 
Roland Buerk, Head of Media Relations
DP World 
Tel: +971 50 6287856
roland.buerk@dpworld.com

Hakam Kherallah, Int’l Media Relations Manager
DP World 
Tel: +971 50 5522610
hakam.kherallah@dpworld.com

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