ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates unveiled a prototype of a high-speed hyperloop vehicle in Dubai on Thursday.
Hyperloop One signed an agreement with Dubai in August 2017, to “evaluate” the building of the world’s first near-supersonic hyperloop transport system in the Gulf emirate.
“We are here today to sign a historic agreement with our partners from (the Dubai) Road and Transport Authority… and we begin to evaluate the delivery of the world’s first hyperloop system across the country,” the company’s CEO, Rob Lloyd, said.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) along with Virgin Hyperloop One unveiled the prototype of the vehicle that is designed for an electromagnetic propulsion system to accelerate the movement of goods and services through a low-pressure tube.
A hyperloop uses magnets – in an unproven technology – 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 km) per hour.
The chief executive of the rail agency at the RTA, Abdel Mohsen Ibrahim, said that the Hyperloop would make it possible to travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes, but it would be another three to five years before feasibility studies could be completed and the project to become a reality.
Earlier in 2016, 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 1,125 kilometres per hour or more.