Virgin Hyperloop is our moonshot moment for global transportation and trade

Virgin Hyperloop is our moonshot moment for global transportation and trade

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman & Chief Executive Officer | Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem - Group Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

For the first time, we have successfully transported passengers on a Hyperloop vehicle.

The occupants made their maiden voyage on our newly-unveiled XP-2 vehicle, custom-built with passenger comfort and safety in mind, and made possible by an international collaboration of technology partners from Spirit AeroSystem, to the Virgin Group, Bjarke Ingels Group, and DP World.

Hyperloop technology doesn’t just move faster than high-speed rail (x3 times) and traditional rail (x10 times). It thinks smarter too. The whole process is fully automated, and pods can be routed in real-time using predictive modelling. Machine learning uses insights on how the system is performing, discovers new efficiencies, and pre-empts issues before they arise. Fully electric, Hyperloop has zero direct emissions too.

In other words, today’s milestone is a breakthrough not just for the exceptional transportation of people, but for the global supply chain and logistics industry at large. An industry rightly focused on making the flow of people and goods from A to B as quick, efficient, safe, and sustainable as possible.

As the shipping container revolutionised global trade in the 1950s, so Hyperloop technology will revolutionise global transport and connectivity, allowing us to move high-priority palletised cargo – such as essential food and medicine – faster than anyone has done before.

And as we continue investing in and developing Hyperloop projects that will make this vision a reality, the technology will generate new jobs, new investment flows, and new manufacturing opportunities for countries and regions wanting to enhance their connectivity and productivity in a global trade economy that continues to innovate.

In India’s Maharashtra for example, our Pune-Mumbai Hyperloop project is set to create 1.8 million direct and indirect jobs, with $36 billion USD in socio-economic benefits.

Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, we are working closely with the Kingdom’s Economic City Authority to explore a Hyperloop research and development centre and manufacturing facility, expected to create more than 124,000 high-tech local jobs and generate approximately $4 billion in GDP growth by 2030.

And longer-term, we expect a Hyperloop project in the Gulf to bring all cities to less than an hour away from each other, with the potential for moving 45 million passengers a year.

I am confident that today’s successful test will energise the projects that are already underway while paving the way for the certification of Hyperloop systems around the world.

We are working closely with visionary governments and partners who understand the transformative power this technology has to leapfrog their economies, strengthen their supply chains, and enable unprecedented connectivity and prosperity to their citizens.

I welcome to hear from any others who share our vision of unlocking new economic opportunities tied to socio-economic goals, as is our philosophy in Dubai. With Hyperloop, we have made a significant step forward in delivering a method of world trade that will benefit everyone.