Updated at 2:30pm with full presentation
A new high-speed transportation concept that could take passengers from Dubai to Doha in 23 minutes is being unveiled today in the UAE.
The system will allow “UAE passengers to traverse a 150km distance in a matter of minutes through air-cushioned pods speeding through a semi-vacuumed tube,” Gulf News reports.
The idea of a rapid-transit hyperloop was first revived by SpaceX founder Elon Musk in 2013, and several companies have been working since then to make it a reality.
In Dubai, the technology is being developed by Hyperloop One Inc., a US-based firm that is nearing the end of a 12-week program with Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA).
The company said its system would use electric propulsion, explaining further that:
“The autonomous vehicle levitates slightly above the track and glides at faster-than-airline speeds over long distances. We eliminate direct emissions, noise, delay, weather concerns and pilot error. It’s the next mode of transportation.”
Though much of the discussion about Dubai’s first hyperloop has revolved around transporting cargo, the US company is planning to debut a passenger experience simulation today.
This week, it offered a short sneak peek of it on Youtube. The video shows a network of tubes and pods that claim to be able to transport people from Dubai to:
- Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes;
- Riyadh in 48 minutes; and
- Doha in 23 minutes; and
- Muscat in 27 minutes.
Hyperloop One said it has been working with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority on developing a high-speed network to reduce congestion and emissions.
According to the company’s website, being part of DFA, a competitive incubation program, gives it access to top Dubai government officials.
It also affords the firm a chance to tap into the emirate’s multi-million dollar Future Endowment Fund.
Previously, cargo officials said Dubai could begin operating a hyperloop to transport goods as early as 2020.
But it is unclear when a passenger transit system would realistically be ready.
UPDATE: Here’s the full presentation: