And we have a winner!
Team Mobius from French engineering company Systra has beaten off 67 other international teams with their design for a supersonic means of transport called the Hyperloop, capable of travelling at 1,200km/h.
The 20-member strong team took part in Dubai Future Foundations’s 48-hour Build Earth Live 2016 competition held at Emirates Towers, impressing the judges the most with their renderings, professionalism and futuristic concepts.
“Mobius was ranked first among the finalists after the panel evaluated the projects from several perspectives, including their technical and economic aspects,” the panel said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We also evaluated the degree of safety and security that the projects provide, as well their efficiency and sustainability.
“Finalists had to provide designs for a parallel Hyperloop system — one for passengers, and another for cargo — that would eventually converge into one station at the finish line. Projects also had to include stations complete with spacious halls for passengers to board the trains.”
Systra is already a world leader in terms of engineering and transport systems, with operations all across the world, from Brazil to Australia.
With a winner now chosen, Dubai Future Foundation can kick-start its plans to build a transport system that would make the journey across the Arabian Peninsula from Dubai to Fujairah just 10 minutes.
Known as 'Hyperloop', the technology would cut travel time from the roughly two hours it currently takes to join the east and west emirates.
And now, in a series of tweets, the Dubai Media Office explained they were seeking someone 'to shape the future of transportation', sparking a global competition for Hyperloop designs that takes place in the UAE in September.
With potential speeds of 1200kph, and the backing of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, one of the world's pre-eminent engineering brains, the technology is no pipe dream. Well, actually it is. Literally.
The technology, which had its first scale model testing in May, is relatively simple to understand. Sealed concrete or steel pipes, installed either above or below ground, are pumped permanently to remove air and, thus, resistance to the trains, while electric motors create a strong magnetic field that allows carriages to coast in a frictionless environment. Ok, we did say relatively simple.
SpaceX is also studying the viability of an aquatic version that can be used to transport cargo from ships to newly created ports some 10 miles from land.
"If the UAE wants it, it could be operational before 2020," tech entrepreneur Peter Diamandis said while on a visit to Dubai last October. "Hyperloop is about reinventing transportation. This is about the future. Similar to how the mobile phone reinvented the world many times over."
Then in July, details of the Dhs1 billion Dubai Future Accelerator first emerged. Among the plans mentioned were the development of artificial intelligence, 3D printing and biotechnology.