Dubai: A US decision that makes super-speed hyperloop projects eligible for government grants and loans “demonstrates increasing confidence that hyperloop has the potential to revolutionize mass-transportation,” according to Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World's CEO.
DP World is the biggest investor in Virgin Hyperloop, a California-based company that has raised more than $400 million (Dh1.46 billion) in investments. Hyperloop is a futuristic vacuum tube-based transport, resembling a train but traveling at the speed of a jet aircraft.
It can deliver freight and move people from point to point at top speeds of up to 1,200 k/ph, which means travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi can be reduced to mere 10 minutes. “The technology is advancing rapidly to build the first operational hyperloop system linking cities,” said Bin Sulayem, who is also the chairman of Virgin Hyperloop.
The announcement comes days after the US Department of Transportation and the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council issued a guidance document on a clear regulatory framework for hyperloop in the US.
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Virgin Hyperloop has been engaging with authorities in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and India for possible future use.
In Saudi Arabia, Virgin Hyperloop partnered with the Ministry of Transport to carry out the world’s first hyperloop study at a national level, including a route between Dammam and Jubail in the Eastern Province. In the UAE, the company signed an initial agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence to collaborate on research and development.