Hyperloop just took a major step toward becoming a reality in Dubai

With its penchant for headline-grabbing projects, Dubai seems like a perfect fit for the wonderfully extravagant Hyperloop project.

Hyperloop One announced a deal with the United Arab Emirates city on Tuesday that could see it become the first location in the world to build the ultra-fast transportation system.

Hyperportals and Hyperpods

The announcement also saw the rollout of yet another slick video (above) giving the clearest idea yet of what it might be like to take a Hyperloop ride. Check out the “Hyperportals” (the equivalent of stations or airports) and autonomous “Hyperpods” that dock into a “Hyperloop One transporter” for the main high-speed journey, though they can also zip around town on their own.

Signed where else but 500 meters high in the world’s tallest building – Dubai’s Burj Khalifa – the deal marks the start of a feasibility study focusing on a route between the famous UAE city and its neighbor, Abu Dhabi. By car the journey currently takes up to two hours, while a Hyperloop trip in a levitating capsule hurtling through a tube at more than 700 mph is projected to take a mere 12 minutes.

“Dubai makes perfect sense”

Commenting on the deal, Hyperloop One chief Shervin Pishevar said, “Dubai makes perfect sense for Hyperloop One because this is the 21st century’s global transport hub and its leaders understand that Hyperloop One is ushering in the next era of transportation.”

The LA-based company said that as part of its proposed Dubai plan, it’s going to spend “the next 12 weeks working with design and architecture firm BIG, transportation consultants at McKinsey & Co., and [Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority] to figure out where and how to build what would likely be a hybrid passenger-freight system” in the UAE.

Hyperloop One has already shown a serious interest in Dubai, having inked a deal with DP World – the third-largest port and terminals operator in the world – in August of this year. The agreement is aimed at using Hyperloop to increase the efficiency of Dubai’s huge Jebel Ali port by building a Hyperloop route to transport freight from the port to destinations inland. It’s hoped the tube-based track could be operating within the next four years.

Should the ambitious transportation system be shown to be workable and commercially viable, the UAE could find itself in a race with other countries who’ve also shown an interest in the unique technology.

Russia, the U.K., Australia, and the city-state of Singapore, among others, have all held exploratory talks with either Hyperloop One or rival firm, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Of course, both companies are also keen to implement their respective systems in the U.S., though tough regulatory hurdles may mean it could arrive in other nations first. If it arrives at all, that is.

While it’s true to say there’s still a huge amount of planning and testing to be done, Hyperloop One, for example, is making steady progress and has already showcased an early version of its technology at a special event in the Nevada desert in May.

Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Deals

The Kobo Clara HD, one of the best Kindle alternatives, is now on sale

One of the more popular Kindle alternatives (and one that stands tall as one of our favorite ereaders) is Kobo. Among the best of Kobo's offerings is the awesome Kobo Clara HD, and it's now on sale for the holidays for just $100 from…
Gaming

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.
Emerging Tech

Intel wants its fleet of drones to monitor America’s aging, unsafe bridges

Intel has signed a deal to use its Falcon 8+ drones to carry out bridge inspections. The hope is that these drones will be useful in spotting potential problems before they become serious.
Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.