An agreement has been signed between the Roads and Transport Authority, RTA, and Hyperloop One, a global high-speed transport company, here today to work through the Dubai Future Accelerators, DFA, programme and develop a prototype of self-driving cars powered by Hyperloop technology.
The company will also test the feasibility of connecting Dubai with a number cities and destinations, and determine the economic viability of the project.
If proven feasible, the emirate intends to implement the technology, which stands to reshape the transport and logistics sector around the world.
Hyperloop stations will be set up across the city to ensure easy access, and will effectively reduce travel time between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to less than 12 minutes, and between Dubai and Riyadh to less than 48 minutes.
Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation, and Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hypeloop One, signed the agreement.
Hyperloop One also gave a presentation, revealing its vision for the future of the transport sector citing Dubai as an example.
Sultan Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman of Dubai Ports World, Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, several government officials and executives from international companies and global media representatives were also present at the meeting.
The company aims to power self-driving cars with Hyperloop technology and initially, individuals can commute for limited distances within the city in small self-driving vehicles.
These vehicles can then be boarded on to a Hyperloop train to travel for longer distances between cities, with speeds that can reach 1,200 km per hour, thus exceeding aircraft speed.
The new technology is set to have positive implications on urban planning.
For one, fewer parking spaces will be required as the technology will change the way individuals commute within the city and also from and to airports and ports - not to mention the impact it will have on shipping.
"Dubai has become a model for the cities of the future, launching one revolutionary initiative after the other and drastically reshaping strategic economic sectors. This is largely due to the ambitious vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as well as the close attention of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation," said Al Tayer.
"History stands witness to the significant impact that innovations in the transport sector can have on economic and social institutions," he said.
"Every historical era that witnessed the invention of a new means of transportation, from ships to cars to airplanes, equally witnessed a radical shift in trade, which eventually led to notable economic growth. Moreover, the movement of people across borders also increased, bringing about a great cultural exchange."
Al Tayer said that over the course of the next decade, the world is set to embrace a new generation of vehicles and transport systems.
Hyperloop technology is at the fore of these developments, he noted, adding that Dubai is moving forward with initiatives and partnerships to realise the objectives of the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy, which aims to render 25 per cent of the emirate’s transport ‘driver-less’ by 2030.
"Today, Dubai has truly become the city of speed and the future. The emirate offers fertile ground for people to turn their ambitions into realities. The Dubai Future Accelerators programme, though only a few months old, is now a gateway for the world’s most innovative companies to materialise their ideas and achieve tangible results that can change the future and benefit mankind," said Rob Lloyd of Hypeloop One.
He also praised the RTA for developing a unique, future-oriented model for the transport sector, one that can benefit all the countries.
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