Hyperloop One, the Los Angeles-based startup, is working with Dubai to evaluate a futuristic and high-speed system of depressurized tubes for transporting people in city that has become a global business hub.
The company, which is led by CEO Rob Lloyd, will work with McKinsey & Co., and architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) on a feasibility study sponsored by Dubai's transportation authority. The joint agreement was announced Tuesday. Hyperloop One Executive Chairman Shervin Pishevar said Dubai makes "perfect sense" because it's a 21st century’s global transport hub and its leaders understand that the company is "ushering in the next era of transportation.”
“Technology is evolving and transforming how we live, yet we lack real innovation in mass transportation and the current system has stagnated," Pishevar said in an emailed statement.
Hyperloop One also unveiled a concept for its autonomous transportation system in the UAE, including the stations or portals that a person might use to access Hyperloop. The concept, which is depicted in the video below, envisions how Hyperloop could take passengers from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes, compared to the two hours it takes to travel by car. BIG collaborated with Hyperloop One on the concept.
This is the second partner announcement Hyperloop One has signed in Dubai. In August, the company announced a deal with ports operator DP World to pursue a cargo Hyperloop One system at the deepwater Jebel Ali port in Dubai.
Hyperloop One is making progress towards it's end goal of building a futuristic transportation system that can shuttle people and cargo at speeds of up to 750 miles per hour. However, it's important to note that the Hyperloop system is still under development and will require significantly more testing before it can be used by people.
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The idea for hyperloop was first floated in 2013 by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who challenged others to pursue and potentially develop the concept. Hyperloop One was among the first to jump at the idea. In the past year, the company has announced a number of partnerships, new funding, manufacturing plant, and held the first open-air test of its propulsion system in North Las Vegas, Nev. It's also been involved in a bizarre legal drama involving another co-founder Brogan BamBrogan, who was ousted earlier this year.