I'm a huge fan of Elon Musk and as a bit of a tech junkie myself, I've been watching the latest hyperloop developments in the UAE unfold with eager anticipation.
For those unfamilar with the hyperloop concept, it’s a form of transport first presented by South African visionary Elon Musk which resembles pods travelling at a superfast speed through a low pressure tube. We're talking in the region of around 1000 kilometres per hour. This would make a trip between Dubai and Abu Dhabi about 12 minutes. In 2013 Musk made his research freely available to anyone keen to develop it.
Since then, the race has been on with the UAE being the country at the forefront in bringing the tech to life with the announcement this week from Hyperloop Transportation Technologies about plans to build a 10km track on the border between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in time for 2020. The deal also includes constructing a Hyperloop XO Square innovation Centre close to the Expo 2020 site and Al Maktoum International Airport.
In an interview with The Independent, CEO of HyperloopTT, Dirk Ahlborn said "This track is important for the future of hyperloop. Once the UAE route is completed, other hyperloop networks around the world will be quick to follow, as the technology will already be there." Competition however, is fierce. In an interview with a competing hyperloop technology company, Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop One told The Independent, "It’s not a race but if it were, we'd be in the lead." Only time will tell.
UPDATE: The Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has denied the announcement from HyperloopTT that they've made a deal to develop the system in partnership with Aldar Properties. Read more here.
Images: Hyperloop TT global/ Hyperloop One site