RTA studies Hyperloop feasibility

RTA studies Hyperloop feasibility

No concrete launch date set for futuristic ultra-high-speed transport

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Published: 14:47 February 8, 2017Gulf News
Staff Report

Dubai: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority is studying the feasibility of Hyperloop technology, an ultra-high-speed transport system, the regulatory body said on Wednesday.

Over the past three months, California-based firm Hyperloop One, in coordination with the RTA, has carried out provisional studies focusing on the suggested routes in Dubai. Studies have also looked at the economic, financial and environmental impact of the technology, and how it would help cut down traffic and pollution.

Additionally, provisional studies have been carried out to examine the standards of issuing safety certificates.

Due to Hyperloop’s early development stage, no concrete timeline for the transport system has been set.

“The system is still fairly new and has yet to be experimented or tested on the ground and its safety certifications had not been issued,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA.

“So it has been agreed to explore the feasibility of providing this technology in Dubai in future without setting a timeline for the time being,” he added.

The RTA has formed a team to keep track of studies conducted about Hyperloop technology in Dubai. A steering committee chaired by the RTA chief and comprising other transport body officials, the CEO of the UAE Rail Agency, and the CEO of Hyperloop One has been formed.

“Following the completion of the provisional feasibility study, Hyperloop One will submit final reports for assessment of deliverables by RTA experts,” said Al Tayer.

“Recommendations will be raised to the steering committee to assess the feasibility of implementing the Hyperloop technology,” he added.

Earlier this year, Hyperloop One started its initial phase of operational tests in the USA — the first of its kind worldwide.

A tentative test of the technology will be carried out in a 500-metre-long vacuum tube, on which the technology is based.

Through these tests, the company aims to ensure that Hyperloop’s tech works according to plans.

 

What is Hyperloop?

Still in its prototype stages, Hyperloop is a proposed mode of transport that moves a pod-like vehicle through a near-vacuum tube at speeds of over 1,000 kilometres per hour.

Transport officials in Dubai believe that the technology could help see 30 per cent of all journeys in the emirate be on public transport by 2030.

Under proposals, Hyperloop stations will be spread all around the city, providing easy and convenient access. This would effectively reduce travel time between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to less than 12 minutes.

Between Dubai International and Al Maktoum International Airport, the journey time would be less than five minutes.

A ride on Hyperloop from Dubai to the Saudi capital Riyadh would take less than 48 minutes.

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