Virgin Hyperloop, one of the firms developing the Hyperloop technology, has laid off almost half of its staff, cutting 111 jobs. The company engages in reinforcing the technology – first coined in 1904 and reignited by Elon Musk in 2012 – but now wants to try their hand at cargo movement instead of transporting passengers. This will also bring down risk and regulations that come with passenger movement.
Virgin Hyperloop has achieved many milestones, however, has been struggling with finding the talent and the funding. As per a company spokesperson, the staff layoff will make operations more cost-effective and agile. The decision to shift from moving passengers to cargo has more to do with the pandemic and its after-effects on the global supply chains.
DP World, an Emirati state owned logistics company holding 76% of Virgin Hyperloop, said that moving cargo will simplify safety and regulatory requirements.
“It’s abundantly clear that potential customers are interested in cargo, while passenger is somewhat farther away. Focusing on pallets is easier to do — there is less risk for passengers and less of a regulatory process.”DP World
DP world also confirmed that there are almost 15 potential customers interested in cargo movement via hyperloop mode.