Dubai hopes for world’s first Hyperloop network, signs deal with developer
Image credit: Hyperloop One
Dubai’s transport authority has signed a deal with Hyperloop One, one of the two companies developing the futuristic Hyperloop transportation system, to assess the possibility of building a line connecting the United Arab Emirates’ most populous city with the capital Abu Dhabi.
Hyperloop One released a video on Tuesday, in which it presents a futuristic concept consisting of a city metro-like network and two long haul tunnels connecting the UAE’s major cities in minutes.
Dubai is known for its futuristic technologies and architecture. A local economic hub, the city operates a driverless metro network and is home to the world’s busiest airport. The city’s Roads and Transport Authority hopes Dubai could become the first city in the world to have a Hyperloop network, connecting it to other significant cities in the region.
“Dubai is a city that understands global change and seizes the opportunity to pioneer,” Mattar al-Tayer, the head of Dubai’s Roads & Transportation Agency, said during an event atop the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
In the video published on YouTube, Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One offers a vision of Dubai’s future less than five years from now, where city dwellers can visit their relatives living in neighbouring cities as easily as if they lived a few streets away.
Hyperloop stations would be located at various sites in the city from where the passengers would be transported in pods to the main terminal. There, four passenger and cargo pods would align inside a tubular transporter with levitation technology underneath, which would then commence the airline-speed journey to the destination.
It would take only 12 minutes for the transporter to glide through the vacuum-filled tunnel to Abu Dhabi, while today it takes over an hour of driving. After reaching the terminal in the other city, the pods would again separate and continue at a low speed to its final station within the city.
No financial terms of the potential construction were given during the event.
Last month, Dubai-headquartered port operator DP World invested $50m (£40.3m) into Hyperloop One. The funding will be used to study the potential of using Hyperloop to transport cargo from DP World’s Jebel Ali Port.
The concept of Hyperloop was originally proposed in 2013 by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. The technology would enable electricity-powered pods to travel through vacuum-filled tubes on a magnetic cushion at up to 1,220km/h.
Two companies, Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies have been formed exploring the concept. Hyperloop One is currently building a test track in Nevada.