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Hyperloop Technologies was found in the United States in 2012 when Tesla’s manager and tech entrepreneur Elon Musk in Santa Monica envisioned a new train system that could compete with air travel. The idea was to halve the traveling time, almost a sci-fi system that would transport passengers along tunnel at 1100 kilometers in an hour, faster than a jet plane. In the last few years, Hyperloop has tested different pieces in order to realize this high-speed transportation system.

It would use electric propulsion to transport a passenger or cargo pod through a low-pressure tube that is kept at a thousandth of the normal atmospheric pressure at sea level. Just by eliminating air resistance it would remove the main obstacle to high-speed.

In 2016 the first full-scale prototype has been tested in the Nevada desert. A project but not reality yet. So it comes as no surprise that Hyperloop (which changed its name to Hyperloop One in the meantime) received in October $50 million funding from DP World Group of Dubai, the third-largest ports operator in the world, to build a hyperloop system to move cargo throughout the United Arab Emirates and the world. What better place than Dubai to challenge technology and realize the fastest way to connect cities?
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) signed an agreement to start the feasibility study on the construction and operation of this transit network. The technology could cut the journey time between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to just 12 minutes, which currently takes almost two hours to connect the 157 kilometers between the two cities. Without considering the traffic.

In fact, besides an accelerated speed the benefits of such a technology are several and connected to sustainability. It would relieve Dubai’s roads of congestion. Hence, the city is now working on connecting an intra-Dubai route. As an all-electric, emission-free technology, Hyperloop cargo would also eliminate most of carbon emissions and other pollutants.

Daria Ricchi

Daria Ricchi is an architectural historian and writer. She is currently visiting fellow at Oxford University, UK.
She has a Ph.D. in history and theory of architecture from Princeton University. She has taught at Princeton University, Yale University, and Parson. The New School, New York.
She published widely in scholarly and non-scholarly magazines (area, casamica- il corriere della sera, Low-Res, Pidgin, Threshold, AA Files).

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