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Virgin Hyperloop One | 1:00
HYPERLOOP - the much-anticipated transport system first proposed by Elon Musk, in which passengers and goods are shuttled in pods over magnetically charged tracks in low pressure tubes - has moved one step closer to becoming reality.
Last week, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, attended the launch of “Vision 2030 Hyperloop Pod” at Virgin Hyperloop One’s test facility in the Mojave desert.
Above: The Vision 2030 Pod enters Virgin Hyperloop One's test track (image courtesy of Virgin Hyperloop One).
This is a promising development for the emerging technology, that depends on such backing to conduct further research and testing.
Last year, engineers managed to achieve speeds of 240 miles per hour (378 kilometres per hour) within the test track, but the technology could theoretically allow pods to reach speeds of up to 670 miles per hour (1078 kilometres per hour).
Above: Saudi Arabia is exploring how Hyperloop technology could help fulfill its strategic Vision 2030 (image courtesy of Virgin Hyperloop One).
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 aims to transform the country “from a technology consumer to a technology innovator” according to the Crown Prince, and is backed by an astonishing USD $500BN of Saudi funding.
Above: An important part of Vision 2030 is the development of Neom, a smart city and innovation hub on the Red Sea ( image courtesy of Discover Neom).
Vision 2030's initiatives already include investments in robotics, green technology and a new smart city project called “Neom”, which would see the construction of a smart city and scientific innovation hub on the Red Sea.
Above and Below: Hyperloop is also proposed to link Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates as well as other important corridors in the world, such as Mexico City to Gualadajara (images courtesy of BIG, Virgin Hyperloop One and FR-EE).
Distances in Saudi Arabia are vast, with the journey time from Jeddah (the country’s second city) to the capital Riyadh currently taking 10 hours by car.
Hyperloop would reduce this journey to just 76 minutes while a journey from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates would be slashed from 8.5 hours to 48 minutes.
The new technology would help transform the country into a regional hub for business travellers and cargo.
You can learn more about Hyperloop and how it works on the Virgin Hyperloop One YouTube channel.