Dubai: The testing and developing is done – now, it’s time to get the next-generation transportation certified. Virgin Hyperloop, in which DP World is a shareholder, is to build a Hyperloop Certification Centre in West Virginia, US. Virgin Hyperloop aims to achieve safety certification by 2025, with commercial operations beginning in 2030.

This will be followed by such certifications elsewhere – the first step towards commercial projects, including those in Saudi Arabia, India, and the UAE. Virgin Hyperloop aims to achieve safety certification by 2025, with commercial operations beginning in 2030.

“This announcement brings hyperloop technology one step closer to commercialization, poised to transform the Gulf region with the rapid, sustainable, and on-demand transport of passengers and cargo,” said Sultan Bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World and Chairman on Virgin Hyperloop.

In essence, hyperloop allows mass transit of passengers and cargo on tracks and across vast distances at vastly reduced transit times. This latest announcement builds on “significant progress on the regulatory front”.

In July, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council brought out a guidance document on a regulatory framework for hyperloop in the US. The announcement sets up the technology for regulation and deployment in the US, while also establishing its eligibility for government funding.

Headway in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is backing the new transportation by commissioning a “first-of-its-kind national” study to evaluate how a hyperloop carrying both passenger and cargo could spark economic benefits, create jobs and develop high-tech skills. Saudi Minister of Transport Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, will lay the groundwork for a network of routes.

“I’ve always been a big believer in the importance of competing against market transitions and Virgin Hyperloop is the clear leader in the future of transportation,” said John Chambers, former executive chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems. “With the development of the HCC in West Virginia, my home state, the company is one step closer to their dream of bringing their transformative technology to the Gulf region and beyond.”