Hyperloop One Announces Plans To Build First Track In Dubai!

We have excitedly been awaiting the arrival of The Hyperloop.  Originally proposed by real life Tony Stark, billionaire entrepreneur and founder of SpaceX Elon Musk, there are now several companies vying to be the first to build his supersonic pod system. One of those companies, the California based Hyperloop One  made a major announcement saying this futuristic looking new mode of transportation could be built in the United Arab Emirates as soon as 2021.

Earlier this week we learned about a leak NASA paper that confirms that the EmDrive works, which could get humans to Mars in a quarter of the time. Now it seems that the dream of a Hyperloop getting humans on Earth to cover vast distances at insanely quick speeds may be coming to fruition sooner rather than later. Earlier this year a first, small test track was completed and seemed promising.

When first proposed the Hyperloop promised to travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a half an hour yet the Hyperloop One team believes a route connecting Dubai with Abu Dhabi will be easier and up against less bureaucracy. While it takes an hour by car, the 102 miles between the two cities would take just 12 minutes.

While it looks and sounds very futuristic, how it actually works is a little old school, almost like one of those pneumatic tubes from the bank.

OK, so it is a little more complicated than that. While this gives you a good visual approximation of how a Hyperloop would look and operate, the proposed designs thus far have moved away from using a vacuum tube with electromagnetic suspension. Recent designs for a Hyperloop work like this: the Hyperloop pods will levitate on a cushion of air. To accomplish this electric compressor in the front of the pod pumps air to the back of the pod. An electromagnet pulse gives the pod the initial push to get going before the air compressor takes over and keeps the momentum going. Then linear induction motors placed along the tube at various points would keep the pods moving with additional thrust. Each pod would be powered by the lithium ion batteries used by Tesla electric cars. These in turn would be charged by solar panels on top of the tubes. Easy!

What they think the new Hyperloop pod will look like.

The new deal between Hyperloop One and Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority is to set about laying the groundwork to actually build a functioning Hyperloop. However instead of sticking to a train/ train station model as previously proposed, the Dubai proposal has added autonomous cars- or pods to the mix. You simply open a smart phone app, request a ride just like you would an Uber car. Then the self-driving pod arrives and takes you to “portal” or station and docks inside the Hyperloop. Then the Hyperloop takes you to another city at near supersonic speeds. This video lays it out:

Hyperloop One says that this whole process may be built a lot quicker in the deserts of Dubai since they will simply have to build a Hyperloop in a straight line.

Do you think Hyperloop One will be able to successfully build a Hyperloop in Dubai?  

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney

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