FOCUS JAN2020: Research & Development

Hyperloop progress includes off-grid powering 23 Jan 2020

Hyperloop One News Release

French Independent safety assessor Certifer is poised to start a first-of-its-kind safety assessment of Virgin Hyperloop One (VHO), as they work together to meet the goal of surpassing the safety of all existing transportation systems.

After following the progress made by VHO with regards to R&D, prototyping and testing, independent safety assessors at Certifer agree its technology and organization is ready to be assessed in terms of being the safest mode of transportation, ever.

VHO aims to become the safest mode of transportation
VHO aims to become the safest mode of transportation

“Partnering with Virgin Hyperloop One aligns with our mission to support clients exploring innovative solutions to set the future foundations of intelligent, reliable and safe transportation modes that will improve user experience,” said Pierre Kadziola, Certifer CEO. “We are confident Virgin Hyperloop One can deliver on this technical challenge with a high level of safety.”

“Embedding safety into every level of our company is paramount,” said Jay Walder, Virgin Hyperloop One CEO. “We are ready to take this next step, and having an independent party like Certifer evaluate our engineering and safety processes will ensure we are building a safe mass transportation system that will be up and running in years, not decades.”

Certifer will also ensure VHO complies with relevant transportation guidelines regarding civil and mechanical works, guideways, control command and signaling, and magnetic propulsion.

“Governments are looking to us to advise on this technology sector and recommend a new set of global standards,” said Benjamin Pasquier, VHO Director of Safety Certification and Quality Assurance. “We are working with Certifer to ensure our engineering and safety processes meet the highest level of rigor and to ensure that we deliver a safe product.”

Hyperloop, as a new mode of transportation, is receiving recognition from governments around the world. Earlier this year, the US Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, created the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council to explore the regulation and permitting of hyperloop technology, to bring this new form of mass transportation to the USA. In India, the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA), Professor Vijayraghavan, has set up the independent Consultative Group on Future of Transportation (CGFT) to explore the regulatory path for hyperloop.

Contribution to sustainability

Hyperloop is also catching the attention of eco warriors, as the system could be up to 10 times more energy-efficient than short haul flights, 50% more efficient than high-speed trains, and energy-neutral (off-grid), according to VHO who recently participated at the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The topic was travel in the 21st century.

VHO has zero direct emissions
VHO has zero direct emissions

At speeds of more than 1,000km/hr, hyperloop could connect all Gulf cities within an hour from each other. The system has zero direct emissions and could move close to 45 million passengers per year in the region using solar energy.

“As cities around the world feel the impacts of climate change, we need viable solutions,” said Jay Walder, CEO at VHO. “Transportation is one of the biggest areas that needs to be addressed; yet we have seen little progress since the introduction of the railway and commercial air travel. At VHO, we are committed to a massive leap forward to offset the impacts of vehicle, train and air travel in a way that no current technology can.”

In line with the UAE federal Energy Strategy 2050, the VHO clean energy solution supports its goals to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50% by 2050 and reduce the carbon footprint of power generation by 70%, thus saving AED700 billion (about US$190 billion) by 2050.

VHO has already attracted major investors from the UAE, such as DP World, and a hyperloop connection would cut travel time from Abu Dhabi to Jeddah to 48 minutes, for example.

Recently VHO announced the results of a strategic study commissioned to build an extended test and certification hyperloop track in Saudi Arabia: The Virgin Hyperloop One Center of Excellence (CoE). If approved, it could create more than 124,000 high-tech local jobs and drive a US$4 billion increase in KSA GDP by 2030, according to the study.


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