The first passenger pod for the Hyperloop system planned to be built between Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been unveiled by Hyperloop Transportation Technology in Spain.
The QuinteroOne is 32-metres long and weighs 5 tonnes. It is intended to whisk passengers between Dubai and Abu Dhabi at the speed of sound, Mach 1, or 1,230kph.
According to Bibop Gresta, chairman and co-founder of HTT, the company is on track to complete the ambitious project by next year.
“In 2019, this capsule will be fully optimised and ready for passengers,” he said. “Since we have taken major steps in solving government regulations with our safety certification guidelines and insurance frameworks, we are now closer than ever to bringing Hyperloop to the world.”
HTT last month was the first Hyperloop company to offer an insured commercial system, working with Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance company, and global certification company TUV SUD.
The project has allowed HTT to create the first regulatory guidelines and legal framework for Hyperloop systems around the world.
In April, a landmark deal was signed between HTT and Aldar Properties to develop a transport centre and XO Square Innovation Centre for continuing research and development in Abu Dhabi.
Construction of a 10-kilometre Hyperloop transport system will begin in an area between Abu Dhabi and Dubai next year, and the first images of how a commercial station in Abu Dhabi may look have also been released.
Some hurdles still remain though. Dubai’s RTA has previously stated that no permission that has thus far been granted for the system to be built between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and the costs and timelines for such a project remain unknown.
While HTT pushes ahead with its UAE plans, other Dubai-based entities are planning to export Hyperloop technology elsewhere. DP World and Virgin Hyperloop have partnered up to form DP World Cargospeed, the cargo carrying arm of the Virgin Hyperloop system.
The Richard Branson-backed Virgin Hyperloop One hopes to connect Pune and Mumbai with a Hyperloop passenger and cargo operation.
DP World Cargospeed promises to provide deliveries at air speed at the price of land transport.