The first passengers successfully traveled in a Hyperloop pod during a testing in Las Vegas, Nevada, the United Arab Emirates’ official WAM news agency reported on Monday.
“The significant investment made by Dubai-based DP World, the leading global provider of smart logistics solutions, in the research and development of hyperloop technology, has played an instrumental role in today’s milestone,” WAM said.
The news agency added that the testing milestone, “combined with the advancements at the Hyperloop Certification center, will pave the way for the certification of hyperloop systems around the world -- a key step towards commercial projects, including those in Saudi Arabia and UAE.”
In 2019, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, based on Elon Musk’s concept of high-speed hyperloop transportation, said it planned to build 10 kilometers (six miles) of a 150-kilometer route linking Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 2020, company chairman Bibop Gresta told WAM.
“I had the true pleasure of seeing history being made before my very eyes -- to witness the first new mode of mass transportation in over 100 years come to life,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop and Group Chairman and CEO of DP World.
“DP World and Dubai are at the forefront of technological innovation in the transport and logistics industry,” he added.
WAM reported that the passengers traveled on a 2-seater XP-2 vehicle, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and built to demonstrate that passengers can safely travel in a hyperloop vehicle.
The production vehicle will be larger, seating up to 28 passengers.
Hyperloop in Saudi Arabia
According to WAM, Saudi Arabia is conducting a first-of-its-kind national hyperloop study to evaluate how a hyperloop carrying both passenger and cargo could spark economic benefits, create jobs and develop high-tech skills.
The study will lay the groundwork for a network of hyperloop routes to be considered across Saudi Arabia.