The Dubai-based port operator DP World on Sunday put its name on the hyperloop technology it has already spent millions of dollars to develop, as work continues to make it operational.
The cargo system, which is being designed alongside a possible passenger service by Virgin Hyperloop One, will be called the DP World Cargospeed, the port operator's CEO and chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told journalists and others gathered for an announcement, alongside billionaire Richard Branson.
When the hyperloop will become operational is an open question as Los Angeles-based Virgin Hyperloop One has faced shake-ups in recent months on its board of directors.
A hyperloop is a mode of cargo and people transportation that involves levitating pods powered by electricity and magnetism that hurtle through low-friction pipes at a top speed of 1,220 kilometers per hour (760 miles per hour). Tesla co-founder Elon Musk first proposed the idea in 2013.
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also serves as the Emirates' vice president and prime minister, made an unannounced appearance at Sunday's event on the Queen Elizabeth 2, showing the importance his government puts in the new technology.
No date has been set for such a service to begin in Dubai. Officials said they hoped to start construction on a test site in India next year. The line which will connect Mumbai to Pune will carry cargo and also move around 150 million passengers a year.
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