For years we have been used the label "Dubious Dubai" when covering some of the bizarre architectural ideas proposed for the city and its neighbour Abu Dhabi. We stopped doing it when the realization set in that they were actually building this stuff and they were not dubious fantasies. But now we have this: an "autonomous transportation system" in a Hyperloop. And I am, once again, dubious. Watch the incredible video:
While we in North America worry about whether self-driving cars will take to our roads, in Dubai they are planning to fill shiny cigar tubes with them and fire them through bigger tubes at 750 miles per hour between downtown Dubai and downtown Abu Dhabi, normally a two hour drive, in twelve minutes.
It is really quite an amazing vision, and a serious upgrade from the Hyperloop One that we have previously shown; the transporter is now big enough to carry pods of different types, including meeting pods (for a 12 minute trip?) and freight pods.
These then self-assemble into the transporter units, which then get fired down the transporter tube and it is off to Dubai.
When they reach their destination, the individual pods then apparently detach from the transporter and drive on their own to the passenger's destination.
All this by 2020. It's all designed by Bjarke Ingels, who has certainly demonstrated that he can turn crazy visions into reality. BIG describes it as "autonomous, point-to-point and able to vastly simplify the experience of "getting from front-door to final destination."
Together with BIG," Josh Giegel, President of Engineering, Hyperloop One has said, "we have worked on a seamless experience that starts the moment you think about being somewhere – not going somewhere." He continued: "We don’t sell cars, boats, trains, or planes. We sell time."
Can this be real, or is it totally dubious? It seems crazy, but we have seen China build a nationwide high speed rail system in a decade and Dubai build a city out of nothing in not much longer. Nothing surprises us anymore.