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Hyperloop One sign deal to develop super-fast passenger network for UAE and offer first glimpse of Bjarke Ingels' project designs

We are heading for a future where our mental map of the city is completely reconfigured, as our habitual understanding of distance and proximity – time and space – is warped by this virgin form of travel
– Bjarke Ingels

Hyperloop One, the Los Angeles firm racing to build the world’s first Hyperloop high-speed transport system, has signed a deal with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to pursue a passenger and cargo network in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In a high-profile ceremony held in in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa today (8 November), the company offered a first glimpse of how its hyperloop system could work, and showcased how the system’s stations, control centre and pod designs, created by architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), would look. The RTA will now finance a detailed feasibility study.

The launch revealed that despite rumours Hyperloop One was focusing its initial efforts on developing a cargo transport system, passenger travel remains a key part of the company’s plans.

"Together with BIG, we have worked on a seamless experience that starts the moment you think about being somewhere – not going somewhere,” said Josh Giegel, president of engineering for Hyperloop One. “We don’t sell cars, boats, trains, or planes. We sell time.”

A teaser video released by the company shows one man’s 124km journey, in the year 2020, from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, which Hyperloop One claims will be completed in just 12 minutes and can be made by up to 8,640 passengers per hour.

An explanation of how the network works can be viewed below:

The hyperloop is a tube-based transport system in which pressurised capsules travel on an air cushion, driven by linear induction motors and air compressors, at speeds of up to 760mph (1,200 km/h). The concept was proposed by Canadian-American entrepreneur and engineer Elon Musk in 2013, firing the starting gun on a technological race to realise the concept.

Engineers and architects from AECOM are working with Hyperloop One to develop the network in the UAE. The first public demonstration of their propulsion system took place in Nevada on 12 May this year.

BIG's concept for Hyperloop One involves fleets of autonomous cubic pods that can travel along regular roads, picking up passengers, as well as within the hyperloop network's main transport hubs, where they are loaded into transporters which travel through elevated tubes to their destination. Upon arrival, the pods – which carry up to six people and offer different interior environments and seating arrangements – disembark from the transporter to another portal with gates, or out of the portal altogether where they can join the road system.

"With Hyperloop One we have given form to a mobility ecosystem of pods and portals, where the waiting hall has vanished along with waiting itself," said Ingels. "Hyperloop One combines collective commuting with individual freedom at near supersonic speed. We are heading for a future where our mental map of the city is completely reconfigured, as our habitual understanding of distance and proximity – time and space – is warped by this virgin form of travel.”

The design is based on a study of how an urban and inter-city transport network should integrate with existing infrastructure. The locations of the initial route in the UAE are selected by passenger density and proximity to existing or planned transportation hubs.

A major long-term goal for Hyperloop One is to “create a fifth mode of transport that will connect distant cities to form dynamic and efficient economic super-regions” – a vision which has major connotations for the leisure industry.

"Hyperloop is about creating a love for the new possibilities out there," said BIG Partner Jakob Lange. "With hyperloop, city planning can happen far from the city centres as physical distances are virtually eliminated. And we're not waiting for new technology to realise it. We have everything we need."

One of our dioramas showing the Burj Khalifa portal.

A video posted by HyperloopOne (@hyperloopone) on

Hyperloop One  Bjarke Ingels  UAE  Dubai  architecture  engineering  Elon Musk 
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Hyperloop One, the Los Angeles firm racing to build the world’s first Hyperloop high-speed transport system, has signed a deal with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to pursue a passenger and cargo network in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In a high-profile ceremony held in in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa today (8 November), the company offered a first glimpse of how its hyperloop system could work, and showcased how the
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