Virgin Hyperloop, which is in charge of developing the “means of transport of tomorrow”, has just signed a partnership with the kingdom to create the world’s longest test track, 35 km long.
Already involved in the Dubai desert, the Hyperloop project is taking steps to establish itself in the Saudi neighbor. The partnership framework involves developing and testing the technology in Saudi Arabia, creating a 35km long track near King Abdullah’s economic city, and conducting a study on the economic impact the project could have on the region.
Hyperloop consists of transporting capsules that can contain people or goods at very high speed, via tubes, out of transport “pipelines”. While technical challenges remain (passenger safety, vacuuming, air flow management), the project is progressing around the world, thanks to a commitment to collaboration and open innovation shared by all stakeholders. To date, a German team has just reached a speed of 436 km/h for one of its capsules, a record!
The Middle East is taking the train of progress
In the United Arab Emirates, the Hyperloop TT project hopes to rally Abu Dhabi to Dubai in a few minutes by 2020; in Saudi Arabia, Virgin Hyperloop One makes the following bet: if the development is going well, it will take 76 minutes to travel from Riyadh to Jeddah, compared to more than 10 hours at present. You can’t stop progress!
About this partnership, Monahud A. Helal, Secretary-General of the Economic Cities Authority, said: “As we continue to help deliver the strategic pillars of Vision 2030, technology transfer and high-tech job creation opportunities that this relationship will bring are fundamental to our progress as a nation. Having hyperloop at King Abdullah Economic City is going to act as a catalyst for a Saudi Silicon Valley effect and galvanize our software development, high technology research, and manufacturing industries.”