Foster + Partners, in association with DP World and Virgin Hyperloop One, have unveiled their vision for the future of freight transport. Using the new hyperloop technology, they will incorporate the high-speed autonomous vehicles into ports across the world, enabling the shipping of goods to travel at the speed of flight for the cost of trucking.
DP World, based in Southampton, are a world leader in transport innovation, global trade and an integral part of the supply chain. They represent one of the many companies around Whitehill & Bordon that are making huge strides in technology innovation, rubbing shoulders with tech moguls like Elon Musk.
Both DP World and Foster + Partners clocked that there is a real demand for faster cargo transport around the globe. In recent decades we have undergone a shift in our expectations as the global growth of e-commerce has led to a consumer desire for goods and services bought and delivered rapidly. Take Amazon Prime for example, a key player in rapid delivery of goods to your door. However, the current methods do have limitations and one of the biggest problems is the reliance on slow methods of transport for international shipping, such as boats or trucks.
Therefore, DP World believes that hyperloop is the answer for a new network to support the future. Cargo has often been the catalyst for transport revolutions and DP World in partnership with Virgin Hyperloop One, believe they can realise the next leap in transport and make hyperloop a reality.
So how will this super-fast transport system work? The cargo will be transported in pods encased in tunnels and they will be powered by a new cutting edge, linear electric motor and propelled through the tunnel by magnets. The atmosphere inside the tunnels will be semi-vacuumed in order to increase the speed of the pods and to increase energy efficiency. This new technology will allow goods to be transported through a global network of tunnels at speeds of up to 700 miles per hour!
Norman Foster, the founder of Foster + Partners, explains the vision of DP World Cargospeed, “The movement of people and goods is part of the vital infrastructure that binds all our cities together – and cities are the future of our society.”
“As hyperloop looks to reinvent urban transport and logistics, the city of the future is closer than we think,” he continued.
Designing a transport system for the future means that sustainability must also be at the heart of the project, and all the hyperloop systems will be powered by renewable energy sources. Additionally, the pods and all of the loading technology will be autonomous, so they do not need operators to function.
Foster continued, “It is important we develop an integrated sustainable vision of infrastructure that will enable us to evolve and adapt our existing cities, and design new ones that will be in harmony with nature and our precious planet.”
DP World are certainly not the first company to imagine a system with this technology. Hyperloop is currently being tried across the world, but more for the transport of people, rather than goods.
BIG has designed a hyperloop system for Dubai, while Fernando Romero is planning a line between Mexico City and Guadalajara, and in Central Europe, there is a proposal to connect Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest.
It appears all the big entrepreneurs are trying to get their piece of this rather promising pie, as Richard Branson bought a major stake in Virgin Hyperloop One last year and Elon Musk’s Boring Company have just been given permission to start construction of a Washington DC to New York hyperloop tunnel.
However, this is the first hyperloop proposal from DP World & Foster + Partners and the first proposal for the system to be used for cargo. In principal, it sounds like the perfect plan. The cost of installing the infrastructure network will most likely be the biggest hurdle for the pair, but the network sounds like a solution of the future. Improved technology, much faster transport and far more sustainable than current methods. And plus, wouldn’t we all like our parcels to arrive a couple of days earlier?
It certainly creates many promising opportunities to have a world leader in transport innovation right on our doorstep. As a tech community, we are personally very excited to see how DP World turn the future of transport into a reality.