Virgin Hyperloop One, the futuristic rapid transit system backed by Dubai-based ports operator DP World, has expanded its potential operations in the United States, the company announced on Friday.
The US state of North Carolina’s Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA) has announced the launch of a pre-feasibility study to explore the possibility of developing a hyperloop system with the Virgin Hyperloop One company.
The report identified a number of hyperloop links which connect areas such as Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and RDU International Airport.
“North Carolina Research Triangle - home to some of the country’s top companies, universities and healthcare centers - is an absolute prime location to examine hyperloop technology,” Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One, was quoted as saying in a press statement.
“There is a tremendous opportunity to further connect these regional anchors and link North Carolina’s capital area with markets to the south and the northeast using a more efficient, sustainable, and reliable form of passenger and cargo transportation,” he added.
Virgin Hyperloop One is working on a number of potential projects around the world, including Missouri, Texas, Colorado, the Midwest, India, and the United Arab Emirates.
In August last year, the company announced its intention to open an office in the UAE – the first outside the US – as it develops plans to transport people from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes.
The proposed scheme will see high-speed pods transport passengers at up to 1,200 kilometres per hour along a vacuum-sealed track.
In April last year, Dubai's giant port operator DP World signed a deal with Virgin Hyperloop One to create a global firm that will build high-speed cargo delivery systems.
The new company, DP World Cargospeed, will create futuristic transport systems using Hyperloop's tube-based technology to deliver goods and link existing road, rail and air transport infrastructure.
DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who is also the chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, told CNBC in late 2018 that the company had seen “big interest” from investors in Saudi Arabia.