Richard Branson buys into Hyperloop high-tech train business

Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop One melds the train tech startup with his own brand.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett
Virgin Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One is now Virgin Hyperloop One thanks a big investment from billionaire Richard Branson . Another famous mogul, Elon Musk , first championed the high-tech "hyperloop" train cause. Branson, however, is the latest of the ultrarich entrepreneur set to put down his personal stake in the idea.

The notion of putting people and material into pods and propelling them at incredibly high speeds might sound a bit insane. Driven by powerful electric motors and levitating friction-free inside a metal tube, riding hyperloops no doubt will be risky. Traveling on the ground at the speed of a jet airplane, though, will certainly shave time off your daily commute.

Of course Virgin Hyperloop One's technology remains firmly experimental for the time being. Even so, the new joint venture should continue or even accelerate Hyperloop One's projected timeline.The company expects to create a fully operational hyperloop system by 2021.

Watch this: Hyperloop One achieves milestone in new tests