Regulatory framework likely to be in place by 2018, meaning construction of high-speed transport link could begin – report
Hyperloop One, the US tech start-up that is developing a high-speed transit system for the United Arab Emirates, has said that it is aiming to secure regulatory approval that will allow it to start production within the next three years.
Speaking at the Middle East Rail conference in Dubai, Rob Lloyd, chief executive officer of Hyperloop One, said that he was confident that a regulatory framework would be in place by next year, which would mean that production on the concept could begin.
“There are no rules to regulate the Hyperloop today, we’ll need to collaborate in the creation of those rules,” he was quoted as saying in a Reuters report.
“The objective would be to create a playbook for regulatory approvals and we’re working with some of the experts around the world to do that. We think we need to have that done in 2018 timeframe so we can begin construction in 2019 and go into production of the Hyperloop somewhere in the region of 2020 to 2021.”
According to its website, the Hyperloop uses a custom-built electric motor to accelerate and decelerate a levitated pod through a low-pressure tube. The concept uses magnets to levitate the pods, creating conditions that can move passengers and cargo at speeds of up to 1,200kmph.
The idea of the Hyperloop came from a 2013 paper authored by Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Motors, who envisioned the transportation system moving people between Los Angeles and San Francisco within 30 minutes.
In 2016, the firm signed an agreement with Dubai Roads and Transport Authority to explore the feasibility of a Hyperloop link between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, reducing the journey to a 12-minute ride.
“Currently experts from both parties are discussing key challenges, particularly with regards to operational safety not only from a system safety point of view but also from a human physiology perspective as well,” said Abdul Mohsen Ibrahim Younus, CEO of the Rail Agency at the RTA, according to Reuters.
However, Dr Abdulla S Al Katheeri, director general of the UAE’s Federal Transport Authority (FTA) — Land and Maritime, said that the Hyperloop had not yet been rubberstamped by officials.
“No transportation mode will be done without regulation… There is a big discussion at state (level) whether the Hyperloop should be brought. It is a new mode today and until now there are a lot of trials… if it’s proven… if it should be done in this country,” he said.