‘Hyper­loop will be as cheap as tak­ing the bus’

Hyper­loop One bid to build fast line in five years

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Sar­wat Nasir @sar­wat­nasir sar­wat@7days.ae

Tak­ing a ride on a fu­tur­is­tic pod that will trans­port pas­sen­gers from Dubai to Abu Dhabi within 12 min­utes could be “as cheap as a bus ticket”, ac­cord­ing to the cre­ative di­rec­tor of the Hyper­loop One.

The Hyper­loop One aims to con­nect cities and coun­tries around the world through high-speed travel, with lev­i­tat­ing pods that will be able to travel up to 1,200kph in­side a low­pres­sure tube.

The Roads and Trans­port Author­ity signed an agree­ment with Hyper­loop One yes­ter­day, which will al­low the Hyper­loop One team to study the high-speed routes that will con­nect the emi­rates.

The cre­ative di­rec­tor of Hyper­loop One, Colin Rhys, said: “We’ll have dif­fer­ent kinds of pods – there’ll be a lux pod and a high ca­pac­ity pod, where peo­ple are stand­ing for more like a tran­sit sit­u­a­tion. But there won’t neces- sary be classes be­cause we want Hyper­loop to be as af­ford­able as a bus ticket.

“I want to be able to go from here [Dubai] to Abu Dhabi for $6 [Dhs22] to $8 [Dhs29]. If you de­velop too much of a sys­tem, you then cre­ate this price bracket that peo­ple can’t even ac­cess.”

Each pod will be able to carry about four to six pas­sen­gers. A per­son will be able to or­der a pod through a smart­phone app and it will show up to their door. It will then take the pas­sen­ger all of the way to their des­ti­na­tion within min­utes.

“It’s not like you’re driv­ing to the air­port, then you get on a train and then on a plane – it’s one ex­pe­ri­ence the en­tire way... it’s like a liv­ing room ex­pe­ri­ence when step­ping into the pod,” Rhys added.

Rhys said that the first hyper­loop sys­tem could be built in Dubai by 2020. The tun­nel­ing could be built un­der­ground as well as above the ground.

Josh Giegel, Hyper­loop One’s Pres­i­dent of En­gi­neer­ing, said: “By mak­ing au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles an in­te­gral part of the devel­op­ment of the Hyper­loop One sys­tem, we are in­tro­duc­ing the idea of seam­less, un­in­ter­rupted end-to-end mo­bil­ity.

“Imag­ine step­ping out of your villa in Dubai, into a self-driv­ing ve­hi­cle that re­sem­bles your liv­ing room, and ar­riv­ing just 48 min­utes later at your of­fice in Riyadh. That is what Hyper­loop One can de­liver.”

Hyper­loop One CEO Rob Lloyd said that more details of the pro­ject will be an­nounced in the first quar­ter of next year, in­clud­ing the cost of the pro­ject and when the con­struc­tion will be­gin.

He said the aim so far is to build in Dubai first then start build­ing stops in other cities, such as Riyadh and Doha, and con­nect­ing them to­gether.

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