California-based Virgin Hyperloop One – a frontrunner in the development of “vactrain rail transportation” – has been chosen by the U.S. Department of State to represent the United States at the next World’s Fair, known as “Expo 2020,” to be held in Dubai opening on October 20, 2020.
The futuristic, high-speed, low-friction trains, which are still in the conceptual stage, are designed to run above ground at speeds comparable to air travel, but at a potentially much lower price due to anticipated energy savings.
“Historically, cargo has always driven innovation in transportation, and we see hyperloop technology as absolutely essential to the expanding market of on-demand, sustainable global shipping,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World and Virgin Hyperloop One.
Virgin Hyperloop One launched its partnership with DP World Cargospeed in April to collaborate in the development of hyperloop technology in the Middle East for the transportation of cargo. At present, no further details surrounding the project have been disclosed, but Hyperloop One has said to expect its initial systems to be operational by 2021.
Attendees of Expo 2020 will be able to interact with the hyperloop pods and witness a simulation of their use in commercial operations. This is the first time the 150-year-old exhibition series will be held in the Middle East. In the past, World’s Fairs has showcased feats in innovation and architecture like Seattle’s Space Needle and the Eiffel Tower, in Paris.