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Dubai Future Foundation to host Hyperloop competition

Contest will create designs for possible Dubai-Fujairah Hyperloop transport link

Dubai Future Foundation to host Hyperloop competition
A series of tubes: Hyperloop solutions, such as Hyperloop One, pictured undergoing testing in the US, propose transporting goods and people using containers driven by air pressure along sealed tubes.

Dubai Future Foundation is to host a competition to create a design for a Hyperloop transportation system, that would enable travel from Dubai to Fujairah in under 10 minutes.

The two-day ‘Build Earth Live' contest will task competitors from over 100 engineering and scientific research organisations with designing a Hyperloop to connect the two Emirates, which are around 120km apart.

Teams will work to a high-level brief to create a design for a Hyperloop system - a pneumatic tube transportation system which propels tubes containing passengers along a sealed tube network using air pressure. Hyperloop systems, a trademark of SpaceX, could potentially, propel loads at up to 1,200kph, and developers claim a Hyperloop could be built at one tenth of the cost of a convential high speed rail line.

Commenting on the event, His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of Dubai Future Foundation, said: "Dubai is hosting this global event as part of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE and Dubai a global platform for innovative minds to come together to create futuristic solutions on issues of relevance to humanity. This contest is a great opportunity to explore innovation ideas in the smart transportation sector."

HE Al Gergawi pointed out that development of future transportation solutions will effectively change the way people handle their daily tasks, and the way they work and commute, especially considering that the world is witnessing  a technical revolution involving 3D printing, self-driving vehicles, and robotics. "This will eventually lead to massive global economic growth, and we aim to keep pace with the rapid developments by focusing on smart application of services and innovation in all fields," HE Al Gergawi added.

The Future Foundation is sponsoring the contest, which will take place next month, in line with Dubai's strategic plans for smart systems, including transport.

HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and member of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation, said that the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy aims to convert 25% of the total commuting trips in Dubai to autonomous (driverless) transport. RTA has recently begun trial runs of the first driverless smart vehicle that accommodates up to 10 passengers. The Authority is also currently working on plans to implement Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy, he added.

The contest is being organised by Astie, a producer of cloud solutions for the construction and engineering industry. Dubai Future Foundation is participating as part of its Future Partnership Program

Nathan Doughty, Group Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Asite, said: "We are delighted that the UAE is hosting the ‘Build Earth Live' contest. Through this partnership, we are looking forward to bringing innovative designs to further develop the infrastructure and find realistic future solutions, especially in the transportation sector."

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