Making history, Virgin Hyperloop’s Pegasus pod carried its first passengers in the Nevada desert. Designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and Kilo Design, Pegasus or XP-2 is a new vehicle typology for an autonomous transportation system to achieve hyperloop travel at the speed of over 1,000km/hour, the fastest form of land-based travel.
Partnering up with Virgin Hyperloop, BIG and Kilo have designed the future of transportation. After a year of close collaboration, “the first passengers tried this new form of transportation at Virgin Hyperloop’s 500m DevLoop test site in Las Vegas, where the company has previously run over 400 tests in un-occupied pods”. The announcement comes after Virgin Hyperloop revealed the Hyperloop Certification Center (HCC), in West Virginia designed by BIG.
Generating a new mobility ecosystem of pods and portals, Virgin Hyperloop has created a prototype, a 2-seater pod to demonstrate that passengers can in fact safely travel in a Hyperloop vehicle, while the production vehicle will be larger and seat up to 28 passengers. The contribution of both BIG and Kilo is focalized on the design of the pod’s first use case, and the design language and characteristics for future Virgin Hyperloop vehicles. In fact, “their design focuses on unifying and covering both the pressure vessel and sled, creating a seamless appearance that combines both performance and human-centered characteristics”.
Virgin Hyperloop can radically transform the way we travel. The immediacy of an elevator in a modern high-rise combines with the speed and distance of air travel to create an on-demand system that transports passengers at supersonic speed. Virgin Hyperloop with our Pegasus pods changes the experience of moving across a country or even a continent into that of a subway system—one that could eventually cover the entire globe and push global travel into a more sustainable direction. With the successful test, I’m thrilled that Hyperloop travel has reached an important milestone and I look forward to continuing our collaboration and making this new way of traveling a reality for future generations. -- Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Creative Director, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.
The new vehicle typology, a pressurized vessel, takes a sleek design without the need for aerodynamic features, making the transportation system much more energy-efficient than traditional rail transit. “The front ‘scoops’ of the vessel create natural steps for comfortable entry and egress, and apertures on the sides of the fairing as well as the front door contain a forward-facing window for outward viewing down the tunnel”. BIG’s second project on transportation announced this year, after Toyota Woven City, the Virgin Hyperloop Pegasus takes on many of the safety-critical systems that will be found on a commercial Hyperloop system and are equipped with a state-of-the-art control system that can detect off-nominal states and rapidly trigger appropriate emergency responses.
- Name: Virgin Hyperloop Pegasus
- Type: Commission
- Pegasus Pod Size: 12m2
- Location: Test Site in Nevada, Las Vegas
- Client: Virgin Hyperloop
- Collaborators: Kilo Design (Co-Designer), Aria Group (Fabrication and Engineering Support)
- Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Lange
- Project Leaders: Sören Grünert, Erik Berg Kreider
- Team: BIG: Joshua Woo; Kilo: Lars Larsen, Philip Andersson, Laura Lebeau