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Hyperloop Between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Likely as Study for the Feasibility of the Project Begins

Hyperloop Between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Likely as Study for the Feasibility of the Project Begins
Aiming to cut the journey time between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain to as little as eight minutes is an American hyperloop company.
To explore locations for stations and tracks within the next few months, Abu Dhabi's Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport signed an agreement on Monday with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.
A feasibility study with the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai into a hyperloop link between the city and Abu Dhabi is being conducted by Hyperloop One, another US company and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is a rival.
In 2013, Elon Musk, the American engineer and entrepreneur was the first proposer of the original hyperloop concept, in which a magnetically levitated pod is propelled through a near-vacuum tube at speeds of up to 1,200kph.
Hyperloop One conducted a successful test over a short distance in the Nevada desert in May as the technology has since been adopted by several rival companies of Tesla.
Hyperloop technology faces challenges of engineering, cost and safety that may be insurmountable feels many experts which includes Richard Muller, professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr John Hansman, professor of aeronautics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The high cost of developing the hyperloop and the potentially high price of tickets to recoup the expenses could limit the system's impact, said Akin Adamson, the Middle East regional director at British consultancy Transport Research Laboratory.
"You would have to take a close look at the economic model to see if it makes sense as a real alternative," he said.
However it would improve safety if the concept could be made to work, Mr Adamson said. With the latest being a 25-car pile-up last month, there are frequent serious accidents on the 170km road between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
"The more you can take the responsibility of safety away from individuals and give it to a small number of highly trained individuals or, better still, robustly tested technology, then it is inevitable you will have safety gains."
While skipping conventional systems such as railways, adopting more advanced technology such as hyperloop was not unprecedented, Mr Adamson said.
"There are a lot of examples of established technologies which cease to become relevant and are leap-frogged by newer technologies. Some people will never own a fixed-line telephone or a desktop personal computer."
The technology would further connect the cities while stimulating their economic, social and tourist sectors, said Khalid Hashim, acting executive director of land transport sector at Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport.
There would be "less reliance on private vehicles and traditional public transport modes, which means creating sustainable transport that can lessen the negative impact of transport-related emissions" in addition to direct benefits such as speed, he said.
The project would provide a safe, rapid and effective transport alternative, said HyperloopTT chairman and cofounder Bibop Gresta.
"It will result in providing a sustainable solution – reducing the carbon footprint while enriching the lives of people in various communities here in Abu Dhabi," he said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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