Hyperloop, which is expected to transport passengers at a speed of an airplane, could become a reality before 2030, not after several decades, said DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem. 

The high-speed transport system that could slash journey times between cities to less than half an hour is currently being developed by several companies, including Virgin Hyperloop, in which the Dubai-based port operator holds a majority stake. 

Virgin Hyperloop has so far successfully tested the technology at scale. Last November, the company tested human travel in a hyperloop pod for the first time. 

When asked about the time scales for the Virgin Hyperloop, Sulayem said they’re looking at prior to the end of 2030. He said it’s more likely to be rolled out first in India or Saudi Arabia. 

“It’s not decades, it’s years,” Sulayem told CNN in an interview at the Expo 2020 site, where the company is exhibiting a full-scale Hyperloop pod. 

“I will see it either in India at first, or in Saudi Arabia at the moment. Our hope is that when we achieve economies of scale and you have long routes and it is popular, probably for the speed of an airplane you will pay with the price of a truck”, he said. 

Virgin Hyperloop is building a transport system that can propel passenger or cargo pods at speeds of more than 1,000 kilometres per hour, or three times faster than high-speed rail and more than ten times faster than traditional rail. 

As of 2020, the company had raised more than $400 million from investors, including DP World. The technology will not only transport passengers but also on-demand goods, cutting deliveries to hours instead of days. 

This can shrink inventory lead times, help reduce finished goods inventory and cut required warehouse space and cost by 25 percent, DP World said in a previous statement. 

Sulayem said DP World decided to invest in Virgin Hyperloop as “an insurance against disruption”. 

“The biggest risk today is technology disruption. And if they are disrupted and you [don’t] do anything about it, that’s a problem,” he said. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria ) 


Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Read our full disclaimer policy here.

© ZAWYA 2021