TIME FOR CHANGE
The time it takes to travel the 150 kilometres from Dubai to Abu Dhabi could be slashed from two hours to just 12 minutes thanks to a new near-supersonic form of transport.
Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed an agreement with pioneering company Hyperloop One to conduct a feasibility study into delivering the innovative system, which propels levitating pods through reduced-pressure tubes at speeds of up to 1200 km per hour.
H. E. Matter Al Tayer, Director General & Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, said: “This is an opportunity to help transform the UAE from a technology consumer to a technology creator, incubating expertise for a new global industry, in line with the UAE’s Vision 2021.
“With Hyperloop One, we will create a new means of transportation, keeping our region at the forefront of transportation technology and innovation.”
Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One, said: “The leaders of the UAE understand that transportation is the new broadband, with the power to transform life throughout the GCC.
“We are now at a stage where, from a technological point of view, we could have a Hyperloop One system built in the UAE in the next five years. Our agreement with the RTA is the biggest step yet towards achieving this goal.”
Hyperloop One will be working with McKinsey & Co. and architectural company Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) – a world-renowned team of architects and engineers – on the feasibility study.
Conceptual designs have already been revealed of Hyperports – the proposed equivalent of a station or airport – and the interiors and exteriors of individual passenger pods.
BIG founder Bjarke Ingels said: “Collective commuting with individual freedom at near supersonic speed: we are heading for a future where our mental map of the city is completely reconfigured, as our habitual understanding of distance and proximity – time and space – is warped by this new form of travel.”
Lloyd added: “The momentum is global and accelerating. The world will see the test of the first full-scale Hyperloop system early this year at our Test and Safety Site in Las Vegas, and we will have multiple operational Hyperloop systems within five years.”