RTA chief: No timeline for hyperloop in Dubai

Provisional studies are underway to gauge the technology's local feasibility "without setting a timeline for the time being", HE Mattar Al Tayer said

Feasibility studies are being carried out to test hyperloop technology's safety, efficiency, and financial aspects. [Representational image of Hyperloop One.]
Feasibility studies are being carried out to test hyperloop technology's safety, efficiency, and financial aspects. [Representational image of Hyperloop One.]

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Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is commissioning provisional studies to understand the feasibility of hyperloop technology, but no timeline has been set for its implementation, it has been revealed. 

A committee has been formed by RTA to oversee initiatives related to Dubai Future Accelerators Programme as part of which, the agency has discussed the possibility of using hyperloop for public transport, and Dubai's capacity to host transit modes such as driverless vehicles. 

HE Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the board of directors of the RTA, added: "The RTA has recently embarked on the trial run of an autonomous vehicle in the Business Bay area, following a successful debut in the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard and the World Trade Centre. 

"[We have] selected three companies as part of the Dubai Future Accelerators Programme, one of [which] is Hyperloop One, with which an MoU [memorandum of understanding] has been signed to study the feasibility of hyperloop technology in linking Dubai with other destinations in the UAE.

"During the trial run, a study will be commissioned to verify the viability of introducing the technology along with its economic feasibility.

"The system is still fairly new and has yet to be experimented or tested on the ground and its safety certifications [have] not been issued, so it has been agreed to explore the feasibility of providing this technology in Dubai in future without setting a timeline for the time being," Al Tayer added. 

A team has been formed to keep track of studies conducted about the provision of the hyperloop in the emirate, and the RTA has also "formed a steering committee chaired by me with members comprising the CEO of [RTA's] Rail Agency, executive director of my office, chief executive of Hyperloop One, and other representatives from the RTA and the company", Al Tayer said.

He continued: "Over the past three months, Hyperloop One, in coordination with the RTA, has carried out provisional studies focusing on the suggested routes in Dubai, the economic, financial, and environmental impact, and the rate of resulting reduced traffic congestions and carbon emissions.

"Additionally, provisional studies have been carried out to examine the standards of issuing safety certificates.

"RTA experts have furnished Hyperloop One Company with the information that will help clarify the deliverables of the provisional study and the possibility of assessing results."

According to the RTA chief, workshops have also been held with hyperloop experts to "discuss important details relating to passengers safety, impact of potential obstacles and risks, provisional plans to counter their gravity, and other technical issues," Dubai Media Office reported.

"Following the completion of the provisional feasibility study, Hyperloop One will submit final reports for assessment of deliverables by RTA experts, and recommendations will be raised to the steering committee to assess the feasibility of implementing hyperloop technology," Al Tayer added.

“The objective of RTA’s participation in Dubai Future Accelerators Program is the quest for new mobility means for residents with emphasis on shared mobility means. The RTA has therefore recently launched the smart rental system, which eases the mobility of public transport riders and their arrivals to final destinations. Thus, it contributes to realizing one of the strategic objectives of the RTA in raising the share of public transport in the mobility of people to 30% by 2030, besides reducing traffic fatalities,” added the Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA.

In Q1 2017, the initial phase of Hyperloop One's operational test will be carried out in the US using a vacuum tube extending 500m. 

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