Although Hyperloop One has been quick to raise funds, grow its staff and demo its basic tech, we've still been offered little idea of what its Hyperloop might look like. Now though, Danish architect BIG has given us a glimpse of a system conceived to integrate with society and infrastructure.
The concepts are based on what Hyperloop One says will be the first-ever Hyperloop routes, between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. They also imagine how such a network, operating in both urban and inter-city capacities, might fit into existing town and city transport frameworks.
Conventional public transport interchanges where passengers must wait for their bus or train are done away with. Instead, through a six-month collaboration, Hyperloop One and BIG have envisaged an autonomous transportation system that eliminates waiting time and provides seamless connections.
The proposal shows passengers booking Hyperloop journeys via mobile devices and being directed to a gate number at a local interchange, or "portal." Here, they will be able to immediately board a pod that can accommodate around 6-8 people. It will be possible for users to book into different types of pod, such as lounge, work or meeting pods, depending on how they wish to use their travel time.
The pods will then travel autonomously by road to a Hyperloop One portal, where, in clusters of four, they will fill Hyperloop trains, or "transporters." Once ready, the transporters will be maneuvered to the tubes before traveling between locations at near supersonic speeds. Hyperloop One sees this efficiency of time as redefining how we will view travel.
"We're going to create a seamless experience that starts the moment you think about being somewhere – not going somewhere," says president of engineering at Hyperloop One Josh Giegel in a press release. "We don't sell cars, boats, trains, or planes. We sell time. This puts an end to us being a 'pod-in-a-tube' or 'fast train from SF to LA' company."
In addition to unveiling the concept designs, Hyperloop One has announced a sixth partner agreement. The deal, with Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, will see Hyperloop One work with BIG and McKinsey to evaluate the feasibility of deploying a Hyperloop in Dubai and the UAE. it is the second such partner agreement in Dubai after the announcement in August of a deal to evaluate the feasibility of a cargo Hyperloop at the deepwater Jebel Ali port.
"The momentum is global and accelerating," says Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd. "The world will see the test of the first full-scale Hyperloop system in early 2017 at our test and safety site in Nevada and we will have multiple operational Hyperloop systems within five years."
The video below provides an overview of the Hyperloop One concepts.