By Daniel Cooper
Something’s going on at Virgin Hyperloop, the startup attempting to bring Elon Musk’s vision of high-speed trains to life. At some point in the last few weeks, the company has quietly changed its name back to Hyperloop One, the brand it used between 2016 and 2017. Its website has been scrubbed clean, too, using an old stock image of the XP-1 test pod and the claim that “It’s a new day at Hyperloop One,” too.
This isn’t just a website issue, as the Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram accounts have all reverted to the old logo and name as well. And the change has to be fairly recent — a tweet posted October 22nd still carried the Virgin logo and name. While we can’t speculate on precisely what prompted the change, it appears to be a deliberate effort towards de-branding. Seemingly, Richard Branson and Virgin are now no longer willing to share a brand with the logistics company.
The company has certainly seen a number of changes through this year, laying off 111 staffers and abandoning its much-hyped attempt to build a passenger system. After that, majority owner DP World said that it would pivot toward using the technology for logistics, enabling the construction of “inland ports” to ferry cargo containers to their eventual destination faster than the present system.
We have reached out to Virgin, Hyperloop One and (partner) DP World in the hope of getting some sort of clarification on the change, and will update this if we hear back.