DP World Invests in Hyperloop One
Los Angeles-based company Hyperloop One, which is developing technology for a futuristic transit system, said it had raised an additional $50 million as it prepares for a full-scale test of a Hyperloop system in the first quarter of 2017.
A Hyperloop involves using magnets to levitate pods inside an airless tube, creating conditions in which the floating pods could shuttle people and cargo at speeds of up to 750 mph (1,200 kph). The system has been likened to a mix between the Concorde plane, a rail gun and an air-hockey table.
The concept originated in a paper by Tesla Motors Chief Executive Elon Musk in 2013, who envisioned it whisking passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.
Hyperloop One got its latest round of funding from DP World Group of Dubai. The $50 million takes its total funding to $160 million.
DP World Group, whose chief executive is also joining Hyperloop One's board, signed an agreement with the company in August to explore a Hyperloop system to move containers from ships docked at its flagship Port of Jebel Ali to a new inland container depot in Dubai.
Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One has previously got funding from the likes of 137 Ventures, Khosla Ventures, the French National Rail Company and GE Ventures.
Former Uber Chief Financial Officer Brent Callinicos was also appointed as a full-time adviser to Hyperloop One Chief Executive Rob Lloyd and the board.
Hyperloop One has also commenced the design of a 500-kilometer transport system in Europe that will traverse both land and sea.
Hyperloop One has initiated a global challenge to identify and select locations around the world with the potential to develop and construct the world’s first Hyperloop networks. To date, the company has 500 registrants from more than 80 countries, including recent entries from Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, the Czech Republic and Albania.
Skeptics wonder if the technology can ever make the leap from science fiction to reality.