Hyperloop One, the main company developing the hyperloop system envisioned by Elon Musk, had two big announcements today. While they are still working on their full-scale prototype track in North Las Vegas, the company unveiled the concept for their entire system – revealing that they also plan to address the last mile and not just the long distance transport.
With the unveiling of the new system, the company announced a deal with the Transport Authority in Dubai (RTA) to bring a hyperloop network between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and other Emirates.
Hyperloop One had already received a significant investment from the company behind the port of Dubai and it was “exploring” a hyperloop system between the marine port and what would become an inland container port in order to free up valuable portside real estates and reduce cargo traffic in the region.
But now we are talking about bringing a full passenger and cargo system, first between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and it will later likely connect with other Emirate. While Hyperloop One’s previous government deals appeared to be all about “exploring” the implementation of hyperloop systems, this one with Dubai seems to really about bringing a system to the Emirate.
The company wrote:
We’ve signed an agreement with RTA Dubai to jointly pursue a passenger and cargo hyperloop network in Dubai and between Dubai and Abu Dhabi and other Emirates. This could reduce the time from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to 12 minutes.
Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd signed the deal with H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, RTA’s Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors.
For the occasion, the company also released a concept of their full system – revealing that they plan for their pods to break down in smaller pods that can also travel on roads outside of the hyperloop tube.
These smaller pods can bring you to the hyperloop and lock in with other pods to go into the hyperloop for long distance travel, and it can also bring you to your end destination. Here the company released a video of the concept:
It’s also interesting to see the concept of the terminals, which the company is calling “hyperloop portals”. The company has already designed portals for a few different location in the UAE, including at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai:
We still don’t have details on the timeline for the new deal with Dubai, but when discusing the timeline for the first commercial version of the system, which now looks like it will be in Dubai, CEO Rob Lloyd mentioned 2021.