Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes: It’s happening

Get the first look at how the UAE Hyperloop is taking shape…

The company that is bringing the Hyperloop to the UAE has just released never-seen-before images of its development site.

Los Angeles-based company Hyperloop One plans to introduce the world’s first operational Hyperloop system, which would see passengers travelling between the emirates in special pods at 1,200 kilometres per hour (remember, the maximum speed of a Boeing 747 is 825 kilometres per hour).

So yes, that means a journey from Dubai to Abu Dhabi will take only 12 minutes.

At the Middle East Rail conference in Dubai on Tuesday, Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd shared some snaps of how construction is progressing at the first ever Hyperloop test site in the Nevada desert, 30 minutes from Las Vegas.

Here’s a bird’s-eye view:

That’s right, these are the first images of a real-deal Hyperloop:

The full-scale Hyperloop test structure – the DevLoop – measures 500 metres long, with a diameter of 3.3 metres. It weighs over one million kilograms.

The company expects to perform a public trial of the DevLoop in the first half of 2017.

WHEN WILL WE BE ABLE TO RIDE IT?

Hyperloop One has previously said they could have an operational system built in the UAE in the next five years, after signing an agreement with the Roads and Transport Authority.

Here’s a video that shows how it will work…

And here are some renderings of what the system could look like when it’s operational. This photo shows that the pods might be larger than we think…

hyperloop-inside

This photo shows the plans for a station at Burj Khalifa…

hyperloop-burj-k

And here’s the station at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi:

HYPERLOOP_image-03

HOW WILL HYPERLOOP WORK?

A Hyperloop system could change the way we travel around the world, says Bjarke Ingels, the founder of BIG – a design firm working on the project:

“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.”

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The Hyperloop will likely be a bunch of small pods (rather than one large train) and will be on demand, leaving when you want to leave, and going directly to your chosen station.

The infrastructure will be made up of large tubes that run between destinations, and the pods will hover in these (they’d levitate rather than be on tracks).

The environment within the main tube will be controlled so that there will only be a very small amount of air, creating a suction of sorts, so that the pods move from one end to the other (very, very quickly – kind of like a parcel in a postal shoot).

The plan shows that Hyperloop One intends to connect the two emirates, which are 150km apart. The map reveals that they are looking into connecting Dubai Airport, the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Marina, Al Maktoum Airport, Abu Dhabi Airport and the centre of Abu Dhabi (with offshoots to the major ports too):

Hyperloop-One-map

Other imagery in this video shows that the Hyperloop will sit on Y-shaped stilts, not unlike the Dubai Metro.

While Hyperloop One is the most established Hyperloop company, it doesn’t actually own the rights over the technology: famous inventor Elon Musk first proposed the idea back in 2013, and then made his research public so that others could pursue developing the concept.

This means the Hyperloop technology is open source and is currently being pursued by a number of companies and individuals.

We will of course be keeping you posted on any further Hyperloop updates…

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