Virgin Hyperloop One has announced a development partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Economic City Authority (ECA) to conduct a study to build the world’s longest test and certification hyperloop track, as well as a research center and manufacturing facility north of Jeddah.
According to a statement, the announcement took place at Virgin Hyperloop One’s Los Angeles headquarters during a visit from a senior delegation of Saudi Arabia’s ECA, led by Secretary-General Mohanud A. Helal.
The study will focus on King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), located 100 kilometers north of the Red Sea port of Jeddah.
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It will include a 35-kilometer test and certification track and will create opportunities for the development of specific hyperloop technologies and develop local expertise in Saudi Arabia.
Furthermore, the study will also facilitate the development of localized hyperloop supply chains and the acceleration of innovation clusters across the Kingdom.
Helal said the partnership will accelerate its Vision 2030, a government project designed to energize and diversify its economy.
“Our partnership with Virgin Hyperloop One is a matter of pride for us and all of Saudi Arabia,” Helal claimed.
“As we continue to help deliver the strategic pillars of Vision 2030, technology transfer and high-tech job creation opportunities that this relationship will bring are fundamental to our progress as a nation and our efforts to create opportunities for our bright young people.
“Having hyperloop at King Abdullah Economic City is going to act as a catalyst for a Saudi Silicon Valley effect and galvanize our software development, high technology research, and manufacturing industries.”
Jay Walder, CEO, Virgin Hyperloop One, echoed those views and praised Saudi Arabia’s bold leadership. “With Vision 2030, the Kingdom has demonstrated bold leadership to advance game-changing solutions.
“A hyperloop system could help enable Saudi Arabia to become a global transportation powerhouse, nurture the nation’s innovation and entrepreneurial culture, and grow an innovative knowledge workforce.
“I look forward to this collaboration with our visionary partners in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to turn this technology into a mass transportation solution.”
Hyperloop is one of the most exciting infrastructure innovations in the world and has the potential, its supporters say, to revolutionize the global supply chain.