Abu Dhabi signs deal on futuristic transport system
Abu Dhabi has signed the United Arab Emirates’ second hyperloop feasibility study to build a futuristic high-speed transport system connecting the cities of Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain.
Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport (DMAT) and US-based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HyperloopTT) announced the agreement, which follows a similar study signed in Dubai last month. Dubai’s Road & Transport Authority (RTA) and US-based Hyperloop One, a rival to HyperloopTT, agreed on Nov 8 to explore routes between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
A hyperloop uses magnets to levitate pods inside an airless tube, creating conditions in which the pods can shuttle people and freight at speeds of up to 750 miles (1,200 kms) per hour.
The unproven technology is proposed as a replacement to existing rail infrastructure. The UAE has put on hold plans to build its own national rail network after neighboring Gulf countries fell behind on their rail projects that were supposed to link the six states from Kuwait to Oman.
A hyperloop route could connect Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain in eight to 12 minutes, according to a joint DMAT and HyperloopTT statement. This compares to the two hours it takes by car today.
The statement said it was “the only initiative of its kind that has the support of the government of Abu Dhabi.” Hyperloop One is also exploring a route in Dubai connecting the emirate’s Expo site for when it hosts the world’s fair in 2020, Creative Director Colin Rhys was quoted as saying by local newspaper Gulf News yesterday. However, Rhys later told Reuters he was quoted out of context and that Hyperloop One was not considering an Expo route. —Reuters
COLOMBIA: A woman shows wads of 100-bolivar-bills to change in La Parada, municipality of Villa del Rosario, Norte de Santander department, Colombia, in the border with Venezuela yesterday. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday signed an emergency decree ordering the country’s largest banknote, the 100 bolivar bill, taken out of circulation to thwart “mafias” he accused of hoarding cash in Colombia. —AFP
DUBAI: Dubai is set to be home to the world’s first Hyperloop One transport link, which is expected to begin operations for passengers in 2020. — Hyperloop One.