Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 March 2019

Designs for near-supersonic Hyperloop that may serve UAE by 2020 revealed

London-based designer will unveil the initial look for the 1,220kph friction-less rail-based transportation technology

PriestmanGoode's initial concept designs for Hyperloop Transport Technologies. Courtesy: PriestmanGoode
PriestmanGoode's initial concept designs for Hyperloop Transport Technologies. Courtesy: PriestmanGoode

The first designs of the capsules that the Elon Musk-inspired Hyperloop are to use will be revealed on Monday as part of the London Design Festival. With the first iteration of the near-supersonic train being planned for Abu Dhabi in 2020, time is tight for the project, but Paul Priestman’s designs show that everything is full speed ahead.

The London-based industrial designer has created a vision of 44m-long pods for passengers who will be propelled at speeds of up to 760mph (1220kph) in tunnels that will show them the landscape that they are travelling through. Mr Priestman’s initial designs show that he is planning on installing ‘virtual windows’ so travellers will be able to see where they are.

The current design of the pods will take up to 40 passengers and is set to be unveiled at the event in London, which kicks off a week-long celebration of the British capital’s creative industries. The technology behind Hyperloop, which was first proposed by Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, in 2013, is based on magnetic levitation – by removing friction between the vehicle and the rails it allows the ‘train’ to travel at far higher speeds.

In 2016, a deal was agreed with US startup Hyperloop One that tested the feasibility of the construction of link between Dubai and Abu Dhabi that could reduce the 150km trip to just 12 minutes. Mr Musk has described the technology behind Hyperloop as “a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table”.

Mr Priestman, who has previously designed reclining beds for airliners and driverless trains, told The Times: “It’s about taking the experience and speed of an aircraft and putting it on the ground. This could completely change the way we travel so it’s a very exciting area to be working in. And given this country’s unrivalled record of great transport engineering, it’s only fitting that a British company is at the forefront of such a cutting-edge technology.”

Updated: September 18, 2017 10:25 AM