Back in August there were clear signs that Hyperloop One (HO) might be building its super fast transportation system at the Jebel Ali port in Dubai. The Royalty-led government of the United Arab Emirates and the CEO of DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, appeared to be entertaining the idea of a submerged, floating Hyperloop to shift cargo at lightning speed from the port, having spent billions on the new port terminals.
Then in September, at TechCrunch Disrupt, HO investor Shervin Pishevar: The first Hyperloop will likely be built overseas. Then last month the UAE hosted the “Build Earth Live” contest next month focusing on the development of the Hyperloop system between Dubai and Fujairah.
But now we know more about how HO is going to implement its project in the country, and it’s going to be in close cooperation with a brand new government-backed accelerator. As a result we can expect to see the first Hyperloop on the planet carrying cargo, not people.
Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) has been created by the UAE, alongside seven government entities which have committed to pilot cutting edge technologies in the country. The DFA is an initiative of the Dubai Future Foundation and part of the Future Endowment Fund, worth $275 Million, and designed to invest in innovation which will shape the future of the UAE’s most important industrial sectors, including, of course, transportation.
What will happen now is a 12-week program which has taken over 2,000 applications from 73 countries. Less than 1% of the applicants were selected, says DFA, but over 30 companies have been selected to take part in the program.
As well as Hyperloop One, other companies are joining. These include Next (a modular mass transportation solution); ConsenSys (the Ethereum / blockchain software company that builds developer tools, decentralized applications, and enterprise solutions); Construction Robotics, (literally a robot for automated construction) and Honeywell, the Fortune 100 company, with plans to build a new way of delivering healthcare at home.
H.E. Mohammed Al Gergawi, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Future Foundation says the aim is to “co-create solutions to global challenges and then share them with the world.”
The companies will share a new purpose-built facility alongside the seven government departments.
Here’s Hyperloop One on their road-trip to the country: