DP World and Virgin Hyperloop One will develop an ultra-fast cargo transport network, but no construction timeline has been revealed.
DP World and Virgin Hyperloop One formed a new company, DP World Cargospeed, which will build a hyperloop system to transport goods globally at the speed of a jet.
DP World is the biggest investor in Virgin Hyperloop, and two of its executives hold boardroom positions: DP World group chairman and chief executive officer, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, and chief financial officer, Yuvraj Narayan.
Hyperloop is a futuristic form of autonomous travel that uses magnetic levitation to propel pod-shaped vehicles through a steel or concrete tubes at speeds of up to 300m per second.
The disruptive technology has the potential to revolutionise transport and trade, by moving goods and people around at the speed of flight at the cost of road travel.
The fully electronic pod emits no emissions and could transform the supply chain by enabling same-day delivery of goods anywhere in the world in no more than 14 hours.
Concrete details around the construction of the cargo hyperloop were not revealed at the event held on the Queen Elizabeth 2 in Port Rashid, Dubai.
Billionaire Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, said the technology had the potential to free up lucrative land in Dubai for development.
“Ports are often sitting on valuable land, but a hyperloop could be built on one of these lovely islands in Dubai,” he said.
“Freight could be unloaded on an island, put on a hyperloop, and shipped 20 miles inland. All of that port land could be sold off for hotels, leisure or other things because it’s on the sea. Why waste that land on ports? If you do have to have lorries to manage the cargo, they can come 20 miles in land, so you don’t need to have nasty lorries congesting the city.”
Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, attended the event.
He said: “The UAE is keen to be a leading player in shaping the future of the world. Being a pioneer means taking bold decisions that open the way for adopting innovative solutions. We have big aspirations because we have unlimited mindsets, and the confidence that we can achieve whatever we set our minds to.”
DP World’s Bin Sulayem, added: “We have made a significant investment in Virgin Hyperloop One, because we see the need for a hyperloop-enabled cargo network to support rapid, on-demand deliveries globally. We believe in Virgin Hyperloop One’s long-term vision. They are the right partner to shape the future of global logistics, and we look forward to developing the first DP World Cargospeed systems with them.”