Hyperloop and its driverless pods are coming to the UAE

Step outside your home in Dubai, step into an autonomous vehicle and arrive at your office in Abu Dhabi - Hyperloop One's agreement with the RTA makes it all possible

Its only fitting that an iconic landmark is home to an iconic plan for the future of the UAE. Today, on the 122th floor, right above what will be the Burj Khalifa Portal for the Hyperloop in the UAE, Hyperloop One signed an agreement with the RTA to pursue studies to ensure that the UAE will be the first location to offer a high-speed transportation system that can chop travel times between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to a mere 12 minutes. Not only that, driverless pods will also enable you to begin your trip right from home.

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The proposed design for the Burj Khalifa portal of the Hyperloop in the UAE

During the announcement, Matter Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, said, “In line with the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the RTA is collaborating closely with Dubai Future Accelerators to support innovative solutions for the future of mobility.”

The idea behind Hyperloop is to a create a tube with low pressure and levitate pods that can travel up to 1,200 kmph. This idea has gained immense traction globally over the past year since it is considered safer than passenger jets, cheaper to build and maintain than high-speed rail and as environmentally friendly as bicycles.

“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,” said Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One. “Our agreement with the RTA is the biggest step yet towards achieving this goal.”

While the idea of Hyperloop is quite well known, the most interesting part of today’s event was Hyperloop One’s second announcement. It envisions adding autonomous vehicles to this system, creating 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,” said Josh Giegel, Hyperloop One’s President of Engineering. “That is what Hyperloop One can deliver.”

The video explains this idea further:

In under two years, Hyperloop One has been able to raise more than $160 million (Dh588 million), build a campus in Los Angeles and a test and safety site in the Nevada desert, a 10,000-sq-m machine and tooling shop in Las Vegas and employ more than 200 people, including a team in Dubai. Hyperloop has also signed an agreement with DP World in an attempt to implement the technology for cargo in Jebel Ali port.

The following is the first test the company conducted showing the propulsion system in action.

This is by far one of the greatest technological marvels our generation is going to see, and here at #GNTECH, we can’t wait for 2020!