The prospect of a working Hyperloop system moved on step closer today as Hyperloop One and the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority signed a deal to evaluate the Hyperloop One system in greater Dubai and the UAE. This is the first step in Hyperloop One’s ambitious plan to connect Dubai to Abu Dhabi using their Hyperloop technology – if implemented the journey times between the two cities would be 12 minutes.
The next step will see Hyperloop One working with McKinsey & Co. and the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) on a feasibility study.
Hyperloop One also took time to explain their concept for autonomous transportation; unveiling new designs for its Hyperloop One Portals and Pods. Hyperloop explained that “the images (below) [..] show how much better travel can be as an experience if you break it down to first principles. Our engineering, product and business teams worked with the thinkers at BIG over the last six months and came up with an original system design that solves the challenge of loading lots of passengers quickly into a Hyperoop tube while creating whole new opportunities to deliver a better passenger experience.”
“The set of products we’re showing include Hyper portals (the equivalent of stations or airports) and autonomous Hyperpods that dock into a Hyperloop One transporter for longer distance travel but otherwise zip around town on their own. Our infrastructure doesn’t have to work with our pods alone. We can turn it into a platform that works with self-driving Teslas, BMWs, or any of the urban mini-cars on the horizon. And we’ll partner with companies like Uber and Didi to build networks in cities everywhere. Hyperloop One will be the range extender for the connected urban vehicle cloud. You can imagine all kinds of data and services we can deliver off that platform. It’s a huge new product direction for us and we’re going to be filling in the details as we head toward the public Kitty Hawk demonstration next year.”
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The new designs would allow up to six people to travel in each Pod. The Pod would then contained inside a transporter which would be propelled through the tunnel at speeds up to 1,1000km/h. In theory, the small size of the pods, paired with the fast arrival times would allow for almost on-demand travel.
The agreement with Dubai is the sixth that Hyperloop has signed so far. A previous deal in Dubai with port operate DP World for its deepwater Jebel Ali port was agreed earlier this year.
Hyperloop hope to begin full-scale testing of the system early next year in the USA, and aims to be have a working system in place by 2021.