Dubai Introduces Hyperloop Pod

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. in the works / ɪn ðə wɜrks / (idiom) – in progress or currently being done

    Dubai is a country that always seems to have new inventions in the works.

  2. prototype / ˈproʊ təˌtaɪp / (n) – the original or first model of something

    The engineers from Dubai showed the prototype of their driverless car at the convention.

  3. friction / ˈfrɪk ʃən / (n) – a type of force that prevents an object from sliding along a surface

    The floor gets slippery when wet because water reduces friction.

  4. conceive / kənˈsiv / (v) – to come up with something (i.e. an idea)

    The engineers conceived the plan to make the fastest car in the world.

  5. viable / ˈvaɪ ə bəl / (adj) – possible to succeed or likely to be completed

    We should come up with a viable solution to the problem.


Read the text below.

An autonomous transport pod that cuts down travel time from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is currently in the works.

Last February, Virgin Group and Dubai’s Road Transport Authority (RTA) revealed a prototype for the Hyperloop One. This new means of transportation uses Hyperloop technology, which reduces friction and allows passengers to travel up to 1,200 kilometers per hour or thrice the average speed of a bullet train.

Hyperloop One aims to connect the two cities and reduce the 90-minute drive to 12 minutes. It can accommodate a maximum of 10,000 passengers, with each pod having a 10-passenger capacity. Despite the windowless carriages, passengers can still travel sophisticatedly with the pod’s BMW-made leather seats that are equipped with interactive entertainment screens.

This project is part of the RTA’s plan to make 25% of the country driverless by 2030. The RTA also said that the United Arab Emirates intends to become a technology-creating country instead of a technology-consuming one.

In line with this, the country has already scheduled the 2030 Dubai Future Accelerator’s program—a gathering of Dubai’s most innovative companies. This program serves as an opportunity for the companies to partner with the government in order to conceive and develop viable innovations in fields like AI and robotics, biotechnology, and 3D printing.

At present, Dubai already has plans for self-driving electric cars and a driverless flying taxi. Dubai also has the world’s first 3D-printed office and several man-made islands. The city is also equipping firefighters with jetpacks and the police force with robots.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• In your opinion, is it necessary for the Virgin Hyperloop One to have luxurious features? Why or why not?
• Do you think your country could create a similar means of transportation? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you trust or fear driverless forms of transportation? Explain.
• What means of transportation do you prefer to become autonomous or driverless (e.g. airplanes, bikes)? Discuss.