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Virgin Hyperloop to transport 200 million passengers a year by 2040: MD

Published: Updated:

Virgin Hyperloop – the next-generation technology that aims to connect cities in record time through transport pods zooming through tubes at hundreds of miles per hour – will carry 200 million passengers a year by 2040.

“Hyperloop is not a system for the few,” Harj Dhaliwal, managing director for the Middle East & India region at Virgin Hyperloop, said. “It is a mass transport system. It will, by 2040, be carrying around about 200 million passengers a year. It is for everyone.”

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Dhaliwal also said the transport system will become more efficient than air travel, as he addressed the Urban and Rural Business Development Forum, being staged this week on the sidelines of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The Virgin Hyperloop – which the managing director described as new form of mass transportation that “combines space and high-speed rail” technologies – will change the future of transport.

A rendering of an interior of a Virgin Hyperloop passenger pod. (Supplied)
A rendering of an interior of a Virgin Hyperloop passenger pod. (Supplied)

Unlike train cars, Virgin Hyperloop pods are not physically connected, which allows for individual pods to have different destinations. Just like a car taking off on a ramp, pods can split off while the rest of the convoy continues.

These next-generation innovations not only enable ultra-fast speeds but provide on-demand, direct-to-destination services, carrying tens of thousands of passengers per hour per direction at airplane speeds with zero-direct emissions.

Virgin Hyperloop can be a cargo solution of the future. (Supplied)
Virgin Hyperloop can be a cargo solution of the future. (Supplied)

Dhaliwal said the Hyperloop is the most exciting thing to happen in transport for over a century.

Giving an example of a project looking to connect two Indian cities – Pune and Mumbai, a 140-kilometer journey that would normally take two hours – can be reduced to 25 minutes on the Hyperloop, said, Dhaliwal.

Dubai’s early recognition of Hyperloop potential

Dhaliwal also praised Dubai for recognizing early the potential of the Hyperloop.

The main shareholder in the US-based Virgin Hyperloop – the Dubai Government-owned DP World – is a key backer in the technology, especially as a cargo solution of the future.

The main shareholder in the US-based Virgin Hyperloop – the Dubai Government-owned DP World – is a key backer in the technology, especially as a cargo solution of the future. (Supplied)
The main shareholder in the US-based Virgin Hyperloop – the Dubai Government-owned DP World – is a key backer in the technology, especially as a cargo solution of the future. (Supplied)

COVID-19, explained Dhaliwal, was a game-changer for consumer behavior, with global societies seeing a transition to a “push-button, on-demand world.”

“No longer are any of us are willing to wait,” he said. “We want everything the same day now, which means that the logistics industry needs to think differently about manufacturing and distribution.”

The Hyperloop can provide an answer, with its next-generation technology that will drastically cut down transportation times.

A rendering of a Virgin Hyperloop cargo pod. (Supplied)
A rendering of a Virgin Hyperloop cargo pod. (Supplied)

Virgin Hyperloop at Expo 2020 Dubai

Virgin Hyperloop is showcasing a full-scale hyperloop cargo pod at the Expo.

The cargo pod and a cutaway passenger pod are being displayed at DP World’s FLOW pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020.

Virgin Hyperloop are set to showcase a full-scale hyperloop cargo pod at Dubai Expo 2020. (Supplied)
Virgin Hyperloop are set to showcase a full-scale hyperloop cargo pod at Dubai Expo 2020. (Supplied)

“World Expos have been debuting the most cutting-edge innovations for centuries, so we are honored to showcase hyperloop technology on this global stage with DP World,” CEO and co-founder of Virgin Hyperloop Josh Giegel said. “I hope that visitors will be able to imagine the not-too-distant future in which they are passengers on a commercial hyperloop system in the Gulf region and beyond.”

On its website, Virgin Hyperloop states that traveling on a hyperloop will be “as safe as riding an elevator,” adding that the company “successfully operated a full-scale hyperloop vehicle using electric propulsion and electromagnetic levitation under near-vacuum conditions, realizing a fundamentally new form of transportation that is faster, safer, cheaper, and more sustainable than existing modes.”

Read more:

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