Hyperloop One has revealed the first images of its Nevada Desert Development Site, DevLoop, where a 500m-long, 3.3m-wide Hyperloop prototype has now been built.
Rob Lloyd, chief executive officer of Hyperloop One, was unveiled the images at the Middle East Rail conference in Dubai.
Pointing to the potential benefits of the super-fast transport system, he made reference to the 4,000 vehicles that travel every day between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the $800m (AED2.9bn) cost of the resulting traffic congestion in lost working hours to Dubai’s economy.
“While technology is revolutionising many facets of our lives, we have not seen a radical change in transportation since the Wright brothers introduced air travel over 100 years ago,” said Lloyd.
“Tying together the Middle East region would produce greater virtual density, without congestion and pollution, spurring innovation, productivity, job growth and more powerful sharing of knowledge, labour, and investment. Building a Hyperloop would vastly impact the economy and make any major city in the GCC accessible within one hour.”
The Hyperloop concept is theoretically safer than a passenger jet. Its proponents claim that the system could be built at half the cost required for the development of a high-speed rail line, and state that its energy usage is similar to that of a bicycle per kilogram-kilometre.
According to the company’s calculations, reducing the Abu Dhabi and Dubai commute to 12 minutes with an investment in a UAE Hyperloop network could unlock economic value 3.5 to four times greater than high-speed rail.
Not only would a Hyperloop system benefit the GCC economically, but socially, by facilitating easier access to both critical social infrastructure and recreational facilities, effectively creating a UAE pan-urban area within a 30-minute Hyperloop reach between Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Al Ain, the company added.
Shervin Pishevar, executive chairman and co-founder of Hyperloop One, said: “With a Hyperloop One system in place, there is ability to further unify the alliance of the GCC, socially, culturally and economically.
“Hyperloop could further enable diversification and make a huge impact on the region’s relatively young and growing population, reimagining how cities and countries in the region work together. The progress made on the DevLoop in just five months demonstrates how quickly we could bring Hyperloop to the GCC and to the world.”
Josh Giegel, president of engineering and co-founder of Hyperloop One, joined Lloyd during his presentation at Middle East Rail via video from the DevLoop location in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I am so excited to be able to share images of DevLoop at Middle East Rail and update the world on our progress. Our team of more than 150 engineers, technicians, and fabricators have been transforming what was, just over five months ago, a barren stretch of desert, into a hive of activity and now home to the world's first full-scale Hyperloop test site,” he commented.
“We have come so far in such a short space of time, and our team of over 240 employees are working tirelessly to eliminate the barriers of distance and time and reinvent transportation.”