It will soon be possible to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes thanks to an agreement between futuristic transport system Hyperloop One and the UAE city-state.
Hyperloop One, a United States Company, has agreed a deal with United Arab Emirates to evaluate building a new 500mph train to Abu Dhabi, which would travel 150km in just 12 minutes.
The journey of 159.4 km (99 miles) which normally takes about two hours by car would only take a mere 12 minutes in the hyperloop. Hyperloop is a futuristic passenger and freight transport system that promoters say offers the promise of near-supersonic speeds.
The near-supersonic transport link will connect Dubai with key cities across the UAE in just a matter of minutes. The capital city Abu Dhabi – located over 150 kilometers away – can be reached in 12 minutes, Riyadh in 48 minutes, Doha in 23 minutes and Muscat in 27 minutes.
Hyperloop officials showed several circular station models for Dubai, including one at Emirates Towers on Dubai’s main artery, Sheikh Zayed Road. Dubai’s Jebel Ali port is also exploring the possibility of using the technology.
The system could later be expanded to link the UAE with neighboring Gulf countries so that a trip to Dubai and Saudi capital Riyadh – currently two hours by plane – could be completed in less than 50 minutes.
“Dubai makes perfect sense for Hyperloop One because this is the 21st century’s global transport hub and its leaders understand that Hyperloop One is ushering in the next era of transportation” said Executive Chairman Hyperloop One Shervin Pishevar.
Hyperloop is defined as an autonomous vehicle that uses electric propulsion to accelerate a slightly elevated passenger or cargo vehicle above a track, gliding it through a tube in a low-pressure environment over long distances. According to the startup, the system will ‘eliminate direct emissions, noise, delay, weather concerns and pilot error.’
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk originally came up with the concept, while Hyperloop One is one of two companies developing the technology. The other, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, has been working with French railway company SNC to develop high-speed transport in the country.
Musk first unveiled the concept for a Hyperloop in 2013 but later open-sourced the technology and is no longer directly involved in its development.
Earlier this year, Hyperloop One held a first public test in the desert outside Las Vegas, trying out engine components designed to rocket pods through reduced-pressure tubes at speeds of 1,200 kilometres (750 miles) per hour.
Mattar al-Tayer, Dubai Road Transport Authority’s director general, told that the cost of building the system will be ‘an important factor when making such a strategic decision on whether or not we can have hyperloop’ in addition to questions over safety and demand.
Hyperloop One has also released a new teaser video revealing that its new high-speed transportation system designed by Danish firm BIG that will connect Dubai and Abu Dhabi.