Virgin Hyperloop One and DP World on Sunday announced a global partnership that is set to revolutionise the transport of cargo.
Speaking at the event Sir Richard Branson, the chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World unveiled the 'DP World Cargo Speed', a Hyperloop that is designed to transport cargo.
"Dubai is in the cutting edge of everything," said Sir Richard Branson. "What we are looking at is technology that will remove all the misery of travel."
Highlighting examples of how this will be possible, he said: "Travel between airports that normally last one and a half hours will be done in six minutes. Hyperloop pods can go to individual gates and then with other technologies such as iris scanning and mobile check in, you can hop right on to the plane."
Speaking about what is next for the company, he said that all the focus would be on the 13 kilometre track in India, where all the testing will be done. "That will set the basis for what we do afterwards."
Shedding light on the way that DP World Cargo Speed will operate, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, said: "This will change the way that cargo is moved. We realised that technology is changing. Today our role is not in the port; our role starts when the cargo leaves the factory. We know that there are a lot of inefficiencies in the supply chain. With this technology we can go anywhere in the world in less than 14 hours at 1,200km/h. This is disruptive innovation that we can't ignore, and our investment is in survival and innovation."
Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One, predicted that once the feasibility studies are complete, along with safety testing and regulatory building approvals, the UAE could very well see its first Hyperloop in operation by 2025. This would carry both cargo and passengers.
"There is a lot of optimism in the UAE, and there are players that want nothing more than for us to succeed," he said. "Building a complete Hyperloop track between Dubai and Abu Dhabi could start in 2019, but it all depends on how fast we get the approvals."
Highlighting how the new pods will carry cargo, he explained that they will go at the speed of a plane, but with the energy consumption of a truck. This will reduce congestion on roads, result in lesser delays, and ensure better efficiency. It will also come at two-thirds the cost of high speed rails.
"This is an amazing opportunity to change the world of human transportation and cargo," he said.
Hyperloop One's Devloop test track in Nevada was completed and tested in 2017 - the first Hyperloop test track ever built, globally. Virgin Hyperloop One is the only company that has secured a framework to build agreement globally with a government entity. In the United States, it is the only company to be part of an official Environmental Impact Study, which is a requirement before being able to construct infrastructure for Hyperloop.
By Rohma Sadaqat
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