Virgin Hyperloop's Jay Walder on the Future of Transportation


Hyperloop began as a sketch by elon. Musk which i think he barred from. Nineteen eighty seven. James bond film. It's a capsule you put someone in and send them hurtling at dramatic speeds through a long distance pipeline sons. A little sci fi but seven years later the leading company developing it. Virgin hyperloop has at its helm. Jay walder a guy who has been in charge of the subway systems of new york london and hong kong. that's one way to gain credibility so welcome jay. Thanks for being here a wilson. Thanks for having me. So how did it happen. You get a call from the company's lead investor dubai port world and they were like what you're interested in overseeing a some sort of to brockett the line that i often repeat which came from the the The head-hunter is he set out. Something i wanna talk to you about. But it's not for the faint of heart and he wasn't lying. It's just incredible and it was a great great opportunity and and to be able to move from doing the things that i've done in my career in the to now really have any opportunity to fundamentally reshape the way we think about mass transit. That's just amazing. But what was it like. What was the thing that. What was the one piece that sparked you that you said okay. This isn't just drawings on on on a piece of paper we. We went through like russian. Finally someone said to me any get on a plane. Come alka las vegas our co founder and cto. Josh neidl will meet you there. And come out to see the test in las vegas and that was the moment i mean. I shouldn't be given us away. But i was at that point just totally locked and it was so real. It's very hard to grasp without seeing it. I think of you guys teased a video to us. That i got the chance to watch but unfortunately we are not allowed to show on this this program today and it showed Kind of like it looked like some sort of emirates air check in room. You know a big gorgeous atrium where people were passengers were walking in. They kind of get on this things. It looks like a really fancy disney ride they shoot off and the speedometer says six hundred plus miles an hour. Meanwhile they're sitting there enjoying their coffee in working on their laptops. You know getting to there seems like a major journey but you recently on november eighth hit a milestone. what was that yes a look. Let's let's break it down a little bit the test facility that we had in las vegas. We have run over four hundred test that test facilities. It's a five hundred meter hyperloop tube of full-scale working hyperloop that the company is built and and really demonstrated improving the that that hyperloop works. We that had already been accomplished but but the question we were asked most often that i was asked most often is. Is it safe and we set out on a journey really about eighteen months ago to be able to show that it is safe and to put the first people in a hyperloop pod that really was. I think a huge step so what what happened on november eighth remember aids two of our colleagues real people. Josh geigo are co founder they said sarah lucian who is the director of our passenger experience. They got in a hyperloop pod together and we had the first run of people in hyperloop loop and really being able to look at this and say we have now. Demonstrably answered that question. It is safe so can you just take us through this again. It's twenty twenty. Originally guys said twenty twenty five having a certified program but now you're looking to have production by twenty thirty something actually in the works so so let me let me take a couple of steps back on this and then then take your question. Because i think there's several things embedded in their first off. You see a test with with real people showing that we can do it. Our goal in this is to have a customer experience. That feels truly special right to have something in which you you are going into an environment. That is is quick and convenient for you. That it's flexible more. Like ride hailing than the way. We think about the tyranny of train schedules. I always like to point out environmentally friendly right. We want to be able to think of this as twenty-first-century transportation that's not polluting. The air that we breathe and in certain locations. I think we can literally disconnect from the grid and that's an amazing statement to be able to make about doing this. The foundation of any monitoring station system has to be shared mobility. There's no question about that and to go back to what you were saying before. Why am i here right. I'm here to connect what what is an incredible technical development program. That's part of the point. You're making with what it takes to be. A transportation system in between that is is really proving. The safety in the certification creating the customer experience and allowing all of those things to happen to be able to do it. Our path forward is to have the certification of the system by two thousand twenty five. We recently announced that we will move forward to build the hyperloop certification center in west virginia. Usually excited about this look. I'm a. I'm a kid from new york. I'm not sure. I would have ever guessed that we would be going to west virginia to do this so we're going to. We're going to build that out and literally. I've got people there right now. Working to be doing this simultaneous. What we're doing right now. We should have that certification by twenty twenty five and then when you refer to the end of the decade by the end of the decade. I want hyperloop projects that are that are in us that we are actually running

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