Tuesday 19 November 2019
 
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HIGH-SPEED MASS TRANSIT SYSTEM

Foster+Partners eyes key role in Saudi Hyperloop One project

RIYADH, 26 days ago

BY R SUSHIL NAIR

Foster+Partners, a leading UK-based architectural firm, has announced plans to join Hyperloop One, the only hyperloop company in the world to successfully test its technology at scale, in developing high-speed, mass transit Hyperloop systems across Saudi Arabia.

A key component of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, it will connect people and enable tourism across the Kingdom and the wider region.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz had last year unveiled the Vision 2030 Hyperloop Pod during his visit to their testing site in Nevada, US, further cementing the commitment between the kingdom and Virgin Hyperloop One to bring hyperloop technology to Saudi Arabia.

He said the Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO) will help accelerate the realisation of transformative technology and work with Saudi Arabia in becoming a global powerhouse of trade and innovation,

"We are looking forward to advancing the relationship between Saudi Arabia and VHO while we develop innovative transport technologies like hyperloop, accelerating Vision 2030 objectives to transform the kingdom from a technology consumer to a technology innovator," remarked Prince Mohammed.

It will help stimulate economic growth and diversification of Saudi industries, nurture manufacturing and innovation sectors, and spur job growth in support of the country’s Vision 2030 plan increasing the GDP 1 to 2 per cent across the kingdom, he stated.

“Hyperloop is the catalyst to enable all 4th generation technologies to flourish in the Kingdom while creating a vibrant society and thriving economy through visionary cities and high-tech clusters,” he added.

Commending the Saudi leadership for its futuristic approach, Virgin Hyperloop One CEO Jay Walder said: "With Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has demonstrated bold leadership to advance game-changing solutions."

"A hyperloop system could help enable Saudi Arabia to become a global transportation powerhouse, nurture the nation’s innovation and entrepreneurial culture, and grow an innovative knowledge workforce," he stated.

VHO’s technology features depressurised tubes that carry on-demand passenger or cargo “pods” at speeds up to 1080 km per hour.

With speeds three times faster than high-speed rail and an on-demand, direct to destination experience, hyperloop technology can reduce journey times across Saudi Arabia, exponentially increasing connectivity across not only across the country but throughout the GCC, said the top official.

Travelling from Riyadh to Jeddah would take 76 minutes (currently over 10 hours) utilizing the land bridge for both passenger and freight movement, positioning Saudi Arabia as the gateway to three continents. Traveling from Riyadh to Abu Dhabi would take 48 minutes (currently over 8.5 hours), he added.

Foster+Partners will be making a formal announcement at the third edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) which runs from October 29 to 31 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The FII is an international platform for expert-led debate between global leaders, investors and innovators with the power to shape the future of global investment.

It is focused on utilizing investment to drive growth opportunities, enable innovation and disruptive technologies, and address global challenges.​

The third edition of FII will continue building active, global networks of influential decision makers to explore the emerging industries that will shape the global economy and investment landscape over the coming decades.​

According to experts, the kingdom has already set the ball rolling on the hyperloop project with the Saudi Economic City Authority (ECA) planning a 35-km hyperloop technologies testing and certification track.

Hyperloop One had in July announced a development partnership with the Saudi Arabia’s Economic City Authority (ECA) to conduct a study to build the world’s longest test and certification hyperloop track, as well as a research and development centre and hyperloop manufacturing facility north of Jeddah.

The study will focus on King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), located 100 km north of the Red Sea port of Jeddah.

The study will also facilitate the development of localized hyperloop supply chains and the acceleration of innovation clusters across the kingdom, they added.-TradeArabia News Service




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