Hyperloop One and port operator DP World have signed an agreement aimed at introducing the new techology to Jebel Ali Port.
Hyperloop is a new form of high-speed transport originally proposed by SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. It would use a network of low-pressure tubes and air-cushioned pods travelling at speeds of up to 760 miles per hour.
Hyperloop One, a company set up to develop the technology, carried out its first test in May (link opens in new tab).
The agreement calls for Hyperloop One and DP World to collaborate on an economic and technical feasibility study of how Hyperloop technology could improve the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of the port.
"Hyperloop One is developing a new mode of transportation that will allow the world to transport people and goods inexpensively, safely, and with energy efficiency at speeds never thought possible," said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO, DP World. "It is an innovative solution that holds tremendous potential for enhancing our operational efficiencies and ensuring smoother and faster trade flows. As a global trade enabler, we think ahead and foresee the future by being ready for it. The Hyperloop is an excellent example of positive future change and growth."
Hyperloop One cofounder and executive chairman Shervin Pishevar said: "We firmly believe that this study is the first step towards the construction of the Hyperloop in Dubai, which could reshape one of the world's most modern cities and bring even more infrastructure innovation to the United Arab Emirates.”
The feasibility study will assess the business case for using Hyperloop One technology to move freight from container ships docked at Jebel Ali to a planned DP World inland container depot. The study will provide preliminary details on the design of a right of way, capital and operating costs and potential project finance solutions.
"By eliminating the barriers of time and distance, we believe we can increase the volume of freight DP World moves through the port using a Hyperloop to a new inland depot, which supports more revenue and profit for all stakeholders," said Rob Lloyd of Hyperloop One. "A Hyperloop system fits very seamlessly with existing transportation corridors, minimizing any impact on urban Dubai and reducing freeway congestion and emissions."
DP World could even use a submerged floating Hyperloop adjacent to its new Terminal 4 built on a man-made island.
"By having a system where a box can be taken off a ship and dropped into the tube or pod, we are moving activity that would otherwise be on the island terminal as well as reducing the size of the terminal you need to build," said Peter Diamandis, CEO, XPrize Foundation and founding board member Hyperloop One.
In addition to the Dubai agreement, Hyperloop One now has feasibility studies under way in Russia, Finland and Sweden, Switzerland and the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.