Virgin reveals their Hyperloop One passenger test pod at Dubai’s City Walk mall.
Words by Dorothy Musariri
Covering media, trains, planes and even holidays, Richard Branson’s trademark Virgin never ceases to amaze. Their latest creation, hailed as “the future of travel” when it was unveiled at Dubai’s City Walk mall this week, is the Dubai Hyperloop One passenger pod. Created in partnership by Virgin Hyperloop One and Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority, the Dubai Hyperloop One passenger pod has even caught the eye of Crown Prince of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum - who attended the unveiling.
The amazing, high-speed transportation system has a top speed of 192 mph. A phenomenal feat of engineering, it consists of a tube with a travel pod inside it; the air inside the tube will be suctioned out, to create an almost-vacuum. Both this and the electromagnetic field inside the tube allow the pod to travel at such high speeds. Matt Jones, Virgin Hyperloop One’s Software Engineer, elaborates: “Hyperloop is not just about A to B; it’s an end-to-end passenger experience - that means no waiting at any point along the journey.”
Launching in 2020, the commuter pod was initially the brainchild of Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk; however, he is no longer involved in the project. Made up of several individual passenger pods - which can accommodate up to 10 people - the completed Dubai Hyperloop One will be able to transport 10,000 passengers per journey. The glossy, innovative capsule comprises of white and beige interior, with high-definition screens for displaying information and entertaining travellers. With leather seating and blue and red neon lights along the walls of the walk way and ceiling, the pod’s design could be taken from a science-fiction film – it’s all very cutting-edge.
“We’re giving the public a taste of what a Virgin Hyperloop One experience will be like, by publicly unveiling our pod and demonstrating how passengers will experience booking a hyperloop trip from their pocket,” explains CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One, Rob Lloyd. The Dubai Hyperloop One will give passengers the ultimate travel experience, allowing them to journey from Dubai to Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes; Riyadh in 48 minutes; Doha in 23 minutes; and Muscat in 27 minutes, cutting all journeys by just over an hour. If this is the future of travel, we can’t wait to get on board.