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Dubai to Doha in 23 minutes with Hyperloop?

A rapid transit system to transport passengers from Dubai to Doha within minutes is being investigated by US-based firm, Hyperloop One Inc, and Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority

The Hyperloop pod, as envisaged by an artist.
The Hyperloop pod, as envisaged by an artist.

A futuristic concept to speed up commuting between Doha and Dubai has been revealed.

The UAE has unveiled a new high-speed transportation concept that could take passengers from Dubai to Doha in 23 minutes, Doha News reported.

The idea of a rapid-transit hyperloop was first conceptualised in 2013 by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, sparking interest from several companies, which have been since been working on making the concept a reality.

The system will allow passengers to cover a distance of 150km in a matter of minutes in the comfort of air-cushioned pods speeding through a semi-vacuumed tube.

A US-based firm, Hyperloop One Inc, is developing technology with Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA), and is nearing the end of a 12-week programme.

Using electric propulsion, the company explained: “The autonomous vehicle levitates slightly above the track and glides at faster-than-airline speeds over long distances. We eliminate direct emissions, noise, delay, weather concerns and pilot error. It’s the next mode of transportation.”

While the discussion about Dubai’s first hyperloop has focussed on cargo transport, the US company is planning to introduce a passenger experience simulation today (8 November, 2016).

A short preview was available on Youtube this week, showing a network of tubes and pods that claim to be able to transport people from Dubai to various regional cities in a matter of minutes.

These include: Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes; Dubai to Riyadh in 48 minutes; Dubai to Doha in 23 minutes; and Dubai to Muscat in 27 minutes.

In an effort to reduce congestion and emissions, Hyperloop One has been collaborating with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on developing the high-speed network and, according to the company’s website, being part of DFA, a competitive incubation programme, it has access to top Dubai government officials.

This also affords it an opportunity to access the emirate’s multimillion-dollar Future Endowment Fund.

Doha News reported that, previously, cargo officials said that the possibility of Dubai operating a Hyperloop to transport goods could happen as early as 2020.

At this stage, it is unclear how long it would take to develop a similar passenger transit system.

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