Virgin Hyperloop shifts passenger focus to freight, lays off employees

Virgin Hyperloop has laid off around half of its employees as part of a shift from passenger to freight transport.

The transport company confirmed The Financial Times that it laid off 111 employees last week, some of whom told the publication the job cuts were “definitely not expected”.

The Los Angeles-based company aims to monetize transportation through hyperloop technology in which passengers or cargo are transported at high speed in vacuum-sealed tubes.


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The transport technology company – a branch of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group – hoped to completely overhaul the way people travel between cities. Since 2014, the company had relied on SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s 2013 white paper on the hyperloop concept, which features a transportation system made up of magnetically levitated pods that move at high speed through a closed low-pressure tube, thus reducing aerodynamic drag.

The company was originally called Hyperloop Technologies, but changed its name after Branson began investing in the company and eventually joined its board of directors. in 2017.

Virgin Hyperloop told the Financial Times the layoffs would help the company focus its efforts on delivering goods with hyperloop pods.

A company spokesperson told the publication that the shift to a freight focus “really has more to do with global supply chain issues and all the changes due to COVID.”

Virgin Hyperloop has yet to respond to questions about the job cuts from Changing America.


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