Dubai takes the first step towards hyperloop
The RTA has recently embarked on the trial run of an autonomous vehicle in the Business Bay area
Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said that RTA had moved forward in implementing Dubai Smart Driverless Mobility Strategy launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Such a strategy, says Al Tayer, envisions transforming 25 per cent of total mobility journeys in Dubai into driverless journeys aboard various transit means by 2030. "The RTA has recently embarked on the trial run of an autonomous vehicle in the Business Bay area, following a successful debut in the Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard and the World Trade Center," noted Al Tayer.
"The RTA has formed a committee to oversee all projects and initiatives relating to Dubai Future Accelerators Program. During its participation in the first edition of the Program, the RTA discussed the development of the Hyper Loop technology, possibility of using it in public transport and the technological aptitude of Dubai for hosting new transit modes such as driverless buses and vehicles. The RTA has selected three companies as part of the Dubai Future Accelerators Program, one of them is Hyperloop One, with which an MoU has been signed to study the feasibility of the Hyperloop technology in linking Dubai with other destinations in the UAE. During the trial run, a study will be commissioned to verify the viability of introducing the technology along with its economic feasibility. The system is still fairly new and has yet to be experimented or tested on the ground and its safety certifications had not been issued. So it has been agreed to explore the feasibility of providing this technology in Dubai in future without setting a timeline for the time being," explained Al Tayer.
"A team has been formed to keep track of studies conducted about the provision of the hyper loop technology in Dubai. We have also formed a steering committee chaired by me with members comprising the CEO of Rail Agency, Executive Director of my office, Chief Executive of Hyperloop One, and other representatives from the RTA and the Company. Over the past three months, Hyperloop One, in coordination with the RTA, has carried out provisional studies focusing on the suggested routes in Dubai, the economic, financial and environmental impact, and the rate of resulting reduced traffic congestions and carbon emissions. Additionally, provisional studies have been carried out to examine the standards of issuing safety certificates.
"RTA experts have furnished Hyperloop One Company with the information that will help clarify the deliverables of the provisional study and the possibility of assessing results. Several workshops were held in the presence of Hyperloop experts to discuss important details relating to passengers safety, impact of potential obstacles and risks, provisional plans to counter their gravity, and other technical issues.
"Following the completion of the provisional feasibility study, Hyperloop One will submit final reports for assessment of deliverables by RTA experts, and recommendations will be raised to the steering committee to assess the feasibility of implementing the Hyperloop technology," explained Al Tayer.
"The objective of RTA's participation in Dubai Future Accelerators Program is the quest for new mobility means for residents with emphasis on shared mobility means. The RTA has therefore recently launched the smart rental system, which eases the mobility of public transport riders and their arrivals to final destinations. Thus, it contributes to realizing one of the strategic objectives of the RTA in raising the share of public transport in the mobility of people to 30 per cent by 2030, besides reducing traffic fatalities," added the Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA.
It is noteworthy that in the first quarter of 2017, Hyperloop One is focused on carrying out the initial phase of operational tests in the USA; the first of its kind worldwide. A tentative test of the technology will be carried out in a vacuum tube, on which this technology is based, extending 500 meters. Through these tests, the company aims to ensure the functioning of Hyperloop technological systems as per the approved designs from operational, safety and integration perspectives.
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