Dubai Innovation Month: Hyperloop ‘pod’ seats 19

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 24 February 2018: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, has stated that innovation in government services strengthens the UAE’s developmental dive. He yesterday launched UAE Innovation Month in Dubai.

Sheikh Hamdan also reviewed the prototype of a 19-seat Hyperloop pod, which was demonstrated by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), in Dubai, in co-operation with the Virgin Hyperloop One.

The passenger pod is 18 metres long with a width of around 4 metres, and a height of 4.5 metres.

EARLIER STORY: World First: Hyperloop prototype on show in Dubai

DUBAI 22 February 2018: Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) will unveil the initial design of Hyperloop, which will be exhibited for the first time in the world, in collaboration with Virgin Hyperloop One, as part of its participation in the UAE Innovation Month.

RTA will also exhibit several initiatives such as Autonomous Pods, High-Frequency Express Buses, and the Urban Mobility Innovation Index (UMii), according to Mattar Al Tayer, RTA Director-General and Chairman.


“The launch of these initiatives… is part of RTA’s efforts to provide autonomous transport, which requires carrying out technological tests on these means under Dubai’s climatic conditions. It reflects RTA’s strategy to transform 25 per cent of total journeys in Dubai into driverless transport using different means by 2030. The strategy is focused on integrating public transit means with people’s happiness through the provision of smooth, express and innovative mobility means that support the efforts of ranking the UAE among the top 20 countries in the UMii by 2021,” said Al Tayer.

The Hyperloop is part of RTA’s initiatives for Dubai Future Accelerators. RTA and Virgin Hyperloop One Company have made considerable progress in the technical, engineering and economic feasibility study of the project. Progress made also included identifying the routes for operating the Hyperloop along with its initial design model, which will be exhibited for the first time in the world.

The Hyperloop boasts of deluxe interiors, cutting-edge broadcasting & display of information and entertainment materials as well as leather seats. The Hyperloop technology uses an electromagnetic propulsion system to accelerate the movement of goods and services through a vacuum tube.

The system is designed to assist the levitation of the capsule slightly off the track within the tube and move it at speed up to 1200 km/hour. Accordingly, the Hyperloop can travel between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes, and lift about 10,000 passengers per hour in both directions.

“When introduced in future, the Hyperloop technology will impact the town planning and the availability of parking spaces. It will revolutionize people mobility between various destinations in the city, logistical hubs like airports & ports, and shipping patterns,” commented Al Tayer.

Mobility Pods

“During the UAE Innovation Month, the RTA will exhibit the Self-Driving Transport Pods Project which will undergo trial runs as announced by the RTA during the World Government Summit. These pods, the first of its kind worldwide, have been designed to travel over short and medium distances on dedicated lanes. They can be coupled in 15 to 20 seconds or detached, depending on the destination of riders, in 5 seconds.

They are fitted with cameras and electromechanical technologies to carry out the coupling and detaching processes, and this feature can be activated in-motion. Each pod is designed to travel short and medium distances and has a capacity to accommodate ten riders (six seated, four standing),” added Al Tayer.

The RTA will also exhibit the UMii with the aim of maximising potential benefits, enhancing collaboration with cities, benchmarking mobility innovation, providing a database of cities with advanced innovative mobility, and the ranking & benchmarking various mobility innovation pillars measured by the Umii.

These innovations are aimed at achieving self-improvement through sharing expertise and using joint indicators towards implementing RTA’s Self-Driving Transport Strategy; which is compatible with Dubai Smart Self-Driving Transport Strategy. RTA’s participation in the UAE Innovation Month includes organizing an exhibition in RTA’s premises displaying Dubai 3D Printing Strategy, displaying future transport projects, and holding an innovation lab in addition to workshops and lectures hosting global experts and speakers.

Promising Project

The UAE and RTA were early supporters of our hyperloop technology, so it is particularly exciting to be unveiling the Dubai Hyperloop pod with the RTA here today. Our focus in 2018 would be continuing the close collaboration with RTA to progress to the next phase of the project. Our aim would be to explore the viability of a wider UAE Hyperloop network,” Rob Lloyd, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One added.