Hyperloop Would Be A Reality In India Or Saudi, Before Its Introduction In UAE: DP World CEO

Hyperloop Would Be A Reality In India Or Saudi, Before Its Introduction In UAE: DP World CEOVirgin Hyperloop Project in India
Snapshot
  • High-speed transportation would become a reality in many areas of the world by the end of this decade, DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem says, the Hyperloop project would likely be launched first in India or Saudi Arabia before UAE.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, who is the CEO of Emirati global logistics business DP World, said on 3 October that Hyperloop would likely be launched first in India or Saudi Arabia before coming to the United Arab Emirates.

It is a high-speed mass transit system for passengers and freight. It is a form of transportation that employs a mix of low-pressure transit tubes and magnetic levitation to carry pods/capsules at a speed of up to 760 mph (1,220 km/h).

Sulayem claimed high-speed transportation would become a reality in many areas of the world by the end of this decade while speaking on the sidelines of the Dubai Expo 2020, a six-month event that began on 1 October.

When asked about the Virgin Hyperloop's timelines, a company that has been working to commercialise the high-speed transportation concept, Sulayem said: “I will see it either in India at first, or in Saudi Arabia at the moment. Our hope is that when we achieve economies of scale and you have long routes and it is popular, probably for the speed of an aeroplane you will pay with the price of a truck.”

Several firms are actively working on the technology, including Virgin Hyperloop, in which Dubai-based port operator DP World owns a controlling share.

The company said on its website that due to the common concept of building for the future, the UAE had become Virgin Hyperloop's entrance to the region. Additionally, it said: “At our offices in the UAE we are building the future today, working closely with our partners at DP World and our Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem to bring the promise of hyperloop to the region and to the world.”

In November 2020, the firm conducted the first human test in a hyperloop pod. Before that, Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, revealed plans for a hyperloop system connecting Pune and Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra in February 2018.

The state of Maharashtra has authorised the Virgin Hyperloop-DP World Consortium as the initial project proponent for the Mumbai-Pune route, as well as declaring Hyperloop to be a kind of public infrastructure.

But the coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to their preparations.

In February 2021, Niti Aayog's member V K Saraswat, while talking about the availability of the technology in India, said that if a demonstration unit for Virgin Hyperloop could be established in the country in the next four to five years, it would be a great achievement for the nation.

While noting that the hyperloop project is still in its experimental stage and will take time to implement in India, Saraswat said: "The technology itself is not mature, there are safety issues, there are economic issues and there are some issues with respect to how much of it can be done in the country."

According to reports, in January 2021, the Virgin Hyperloop company has also announced a collaboration with Bangalore International Airport to examine the viability of the planned route from the city airport. Sudhendu Jyoti Sinha, a Niti Aayog infrastructure connection advisor, is a member of the committee.

However, as claimed by the DP World, the hyperloop is expected to drastically cut down inventory transportation times, decrease completed products inventory and reduce warehouse space, as well as costs by 25 per cent.

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