The first functional Hyperloop Transportation System could be built in the Persian Gulf nation of the United Arab Emirates. American entrepreneur, engineer, and futurist Peter Diamandis told The Khaleej Times newspaper that he is determined to build the first hyperloop line between Dubai and Abu Dhabi; two of the Emirates, by 2020.
The United Arab Emirates (or UAE) is a state on the Arabian Peninsula near the straits of Hormuz. It consists of seven sheikdoms and has a population of around 9.2 million people. The UAE also boasts the world’s seventh largest oil reserves and the 17th largest natural gas reserves in the world. It also contains some of the world’s most modern and high-tech cities, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Another Colorful Character Enters the Hyperloop Arena
Diamandis claims he could build a working hyperloop system that could travel the 90 miles between Abu Dhabi and Dubai in just 14.94 minutes. He told an audience at a CEO forum that he could have the system up and running in five years, Tech Insider reported.
Mr. Diamandis serves on the board of Hyperloop Technologies, Shervin Pishevar’s startup. That company; based in downtown Los Angeles, recently hired former Cisco Systems Inc. president Rob Lloyd as its CEO. Lloyd has predicted that an operational hyperloop system will be up and running by 2020.
Diamandis is the founder of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, and satellite launcher International MicroSpace Inc. He’s best known as the head of the X Prize Foundation – the X Prize is a $10 million reward for the first privately launched passenger carrying spaceship.
Since then, he’s headed up several other companies, including Human Longevity Inc., which is dedicated to developing technologies to lengthen the human lifespan. Diamandis’s most interesting and intriguing endeavor is the Rocket Racing League, in which rocket-powered cars compete agains each other.
History Repeats Itself
The widespread adoption of a highly disruptive and visionary American technology in another country is nothing new. When the Wright Brothers invented the airplane, they found far more interest in Europe, particularly France, than in the United States. In his recent biography The Wright Brothers, David McCullough noted that the British and French governments took an interest in Wright’s flyer before the U.S. government did.
British and French military officers and delegations of prominent French citizens even travelled to Dayton, Ohio to visit the brothers and their invention long before any prominent Americans noticed them, McCullough wrote. The first true public demonstrations of the Wright flyer took place in LeMans, France, not in the United States.
Sadly enough, no prominent American politician has yet taken an interest in the hyperloop. Not a single Presidential candidate has mentioned it or visited Hyperloop Technologies, although it should be noted that the United States eventually developed the world’s largest and most advanced aviation industry and air force. The problem is that it took decades for the U.S. to adopt aircraft.
Hopefully, it will take the spectacle of a hyperloop up and running in the Persian Gulf to convince Americans to adopt this visionary technology that could put the United States at the cutting edge of technology. Unfortunately, history teaches us that it is entirely possible.