California-based company HyperloopTT is officially scheduled to begin construction on the first commercial Hyperloop system in Abu Dhabi in the second half of 2019, according to a company press release.
We recently reported on the company unveiling its first full-scale passenger capsule in Spain, which was then shipped to France for further assembly. Wednesday’s press release also announced that the Dar Al-Handasah design and engineering firm is the latest investor in HyperloopTT and will serve as the project’s design lead.
Dar Al-Handasah’s team includes U.S. architect company Perkins+Will, Spain’s engineering firm GPO Group, the English cost management consultants of Currie & Brown, and U.S. engineering company T.Y. Lin International. In addition to Abu Dhabi’s first commercial Hyperloop system receiving a timeline, HyperloopTT announced that its XO Square Innovation Center and Hyperloop Experience Center would begin construction in the second half of next year, as well.
“With today’s announcement of the appointment of Dar Al-Handasah, Perkins and Wills, and Carrie and Brown, we have achieved a significant milestone towards the construction of the world’s first commercial Hyperloop system in Alghadeer,” said HyperloopTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn. “We are looking forward to working with all of our regional stakeholders to build this historic piece of transportation infrastructure.”
Hyperloop is a high-speed, low-pressure, underground tunnel technology popularized by Elon Musk and his Boring Company in 2013 as a more efficient alternative to the current standards in public transportation. In the past few years, companies across the globe have begun dipping their toes into this nascent industry. Virgin, for instance, recently entered the fray with a research and development center in Spain, and signed a preliminary agreement to build a track in India to bring passengers from Mumbai to Pune in 25 minutes.
For the United Arab Emirates, HyperloopTT has seemingly put all the right things in motion for this project to produce effective financial and marketing results. The company signed a formal agreement with Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Aldar Properties earlier this year. The contract will allow HyperloopTT to build the Hyperloop track and the two centers on Aldar Properties’ Seih Al Sderieh landbank, which is situated on the border between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The site is also close to the Expo 2020 site and the Al Maktoum International Airport.
“We are bringing the future of rapid transportation technology to all those living in the UAE,” said HyperloopTT Chairman Bibop Gresta. “Today’s announcement is a testament to the continued commitment and determination of all our partners, both within the UAE and abroad. As we move forward with the system we invite other interested organizations in the region and around the world to join us in making history.”
When HyperloopTT said it was aiming to be “passenger ready” by 2019 during the capsule unveiling earlier this month, we were cautiously excited, as legislative hurdles can often ground projects before they get a chance to take off. With new backing, a regional partner, and a clearly defined timeline for next year, it certainly seems as though HyperloopTT is on track to get this system in place sooner rather than later.