Billionaire Virgin founder Richard Branson said Tuesday that tickets for his hyperloop transport system will cost no more than that of a high-speed rail fare.
Virgin Hyperloop One, which Branson has been chairman of since December last year, is "very close" to deploying the technology in India and is in talks with Dubai and Saudi Arabia about rolling out the technology in the Middle East as well, Branson told CNBC at the annual Barclays Asia Forum in Singapore.
Hyperloops are transportation systems that propel pods through low-pressure tubes, aimed at avoiding air resistance and traveling at ultra-fast speeds. The idea is considered to be the brainchild of visionary tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, who drew up plans for the technology back in 2013.
Speaking about the price of Hyperloop One fares, Branson said: "It will be no more than a high-speed trainline ticket, and potentially we'll be able to bring the price down further than that."
Branson said work will begin on Hyperloop One's first flagship hyperloop system next year, and will cut travel times from five hours to "just over half an hour."