When Elon Musk first presented the idea for his open-source hyperloop in a white paper many experts immediately scoffed at the idea with some even labeling the project impossible. However, this didn’t stop Hyperloop One, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) and others from moving ahead and things are, no pun intended, moving quickly.
Cargo hyperloop would connect Dubai and Fujairah
It appears that Hyperloop One will be building its first hyperloop at the Jebel Ali port in Dubai after undergoing talks with Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem who in addition to leading the nation holds the position of CEO of DP World. The idea would be to submerge the transportation system for the speed of sound transfer of cargo from the multi-billion dollar port terminals.
The announcement doesn’t come as a huge shock given that Hyperloop One investor Shervin Pishevar suggested last month at TechCrunch Disrupt conference that the company was looking overseas to build its first fully functioning hyperloop.
The United Arab Emirates created the Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) in order to make decisions about how to go forward with the hyperloop. Seven government agencies will work in conjunction with Dubai Future Accelerators as part of the nearly $300 million Future Endowment Fund to build and innovate the country’s industrial sectors including, of course, transportation.
A Dubai hyperloop could be built and functional as early as 2020 but it would likely be a few more years as a four-year window is quite optimistic and with oil prices as low as they are, the UAE and other gulf states have seen their cash reserves dwindling and revenues shrinking.
Hyperloop One – Last month’s competition
Hyperloop One is not alone in their interest in a hyperloop in Dubai and last month saw the Build Earth Live — Hyperloop take place with the winners announced last week. The competition was created by Asite and sponsored by Hyperloop One, Vectorworks as well as the aforementioned Dubai Future Foundations.
Seven finalists were reached from a field of 65 teams from nearly 30 countries. The finalists were charged with designing both a cargo hyperloop as well as one for people and were evaluated for sustainability, security, efficiency and design among other standards. In addition to the two hyperloops, each finalist needed to design a station with halls sufficient to deal with hundreds of passengers.
In choosing the winner, His Excellency Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation said on Tuesday last week, “Announcing the first-place winner of the Hyperloop Competition is a milestone that makes evident our resolve to move forward with our plans to build the future today. The winning project was chosen by a highly qualified panel of experts and specialists in engineering and technology; it is one of the most innovative plans to build an integrated high-speed Hyperloop transportation system that can travel from Dubai to Fujairah in a mere 10 minutes.”
“The first edition of Dubai’s International Hyperloop Competition has accomplished a great deal of success and commanded global attention. The contest attracted commendable international participation in a record period of time. This drive to participate in the challenge reflects Dubai’s positive international image as a world-leading platform to implement the planet’s most advanced technologies, added His Excellency.
“The drive to participate in the challenge reflects Dubai’s positive international image as a world-leading platform to implement the planet’s most advanced technologies,” said Al Aleeli in wrapping up his announcement.
“Build Earth Live Hyperloop has exceeded all expectations. With thanks to His Excellency Saif Al Aleeli, backing the 8th Edition of Build Earth live, we received phenomenal international attention and team registrations. In short, the response was off the Richter scale. The results speak for themselves I hope you agree,” said ASITE CEO, Tony Ryan, following the announcement of the winner.