We’re only two months into 2018 and this year has already impressed us with technology aimed to make life easier.
Add to that list ultra-fast levitating capsules that can cut commute times by nearly 75 percent and we’re convinced it might just be the best year ever.
Virgin just announced it will begin work on its Hyperloop One prototype that will zip commuters between Dubai and Abu Dhabi at speeds up to 760 miles per hour (1,200 kilometers per hour).
The 87-mile (140 kilometers) trek normally takes 90 minutes by car. Hyperloop One supposedly cuts that down to just 12 minutes.
The super-fast transport system’s innovative track is a long tube with air removed. It essentially creates a vacuum that zips passenger pods between destinations.
Each pod can hold 10 passengers. That might not sound like much, but it has the potential to deliver tens of thousands of people each day.
“According to initial studies, it will have a capacity to lift 10,000 riders per hour in both directions,” said executive director of the Rail Planning and Projects Development Abdulredha Abu Alhassan to Khaleej Times.
It may resemble a train car, but don’t be fooled. Because of Hyperloop One’s high speeds, passengers must stay seated and buckled at all times.
That shouldn’t be a problem considering the leather seats are designed by BMW.
Just don’t expect the 12-minute coast to take the scenic route.
“There will be no windows. However, there will be interactive entertainment screens at the armrest of the seats. The seats have been designed in a very futuristic manner," said Alhassan.
The pod was unveiled in conjunction with Dubai’s Road Transport Authority (RTA) during Innovation Week in the United Arab Emirates.
Virgin plans to have three working Hyperloop systems by 2021, the company said on its website.
The UAE isn’t the only county getting Hyperloop fever. Earlier this month Washington D.C. gave Elon Musk a permit to start digging – literally – into the possibility of connecting the nation’s capital to New York via a tunnel network. A train ride that normally takes around three hours would take just 29 minutes.
The project is still under testing and Abdulredha says an official launch date hasn’t been announced.