The UAE continues to look toward the future and is keeping ahead of the world in developing cutting edge transport technology.
A strategic partnership has been signed to accelerate the development of a Hyperloop link between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The partnership is between the office of Shaikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US technology company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.
This agreement comes hot on the heels of the agreement signed in December 2016, to conduct a feasibility study on linking Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. This study was aimed at carrying out a route analysis, costings, and development schedules for developing the route.
What is a Hyperloop?
The Hyperloop is one of the many possible futures of mass transit; it is a low-pressure tube in which pods carrying passengers travel at high speed. The reduced pressure and air resistance in the tube mean Hyperloop pods can reach speeds of around 1,200 km/h.
It is very similar to Maglev trains that can reach breakneck speeds due to the lack of friction between the wheels and rails.
The Hyperloop is the brainchild of Tesla Motors’ Owner and Billionaire Elon Musk, who outlined the concept in a white paper in 2010.
The pods that carry passengers around the Hyperloop are designed to carry between 28 and 50 passengers.
In terms of costing, while the exact figures are yet to be worked out for the UAE, Bibop Gresta the CEO of Hyperloop technologies confirmed that in Europe the cost was in the range of $40 million per kilometre of Hyperloop—with about 60% of the cost dedicated to building the loop, and the other 40% devoted to the pods and stations.
According to Gresta, “The complete study will take a total of six months, and we will evaluate and analyse absolutely everything required to begin construction on a Hyperloop route between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain,” is the fundamental drive behind the new agreement.
This is another significant step for the Emirate, as confirmed by Mustafa Samir, advisor at the office of Sheikh Falah, who stated, “The emirate is keen to take a leading role in the launch and adoption of initiatives that are sustainable and based on the latest technologies and innovations.”
This $100 million agreement is a significant step forward for Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a whole. If the Hyperloop is constructed, it will firmly plant the country at the forefront of the global transport revolution.