Hyperloop One currently appears to be inching ahead of the competition in the race to build the first commercial hyperloop. The company has struck an exploratory agreement in the UAE, with a vision to move passengers between Dubai and Abu Dhabi in just 12 minutes. In a keynote speech at the Middle East Rail conference in Dubai this week, Hyperloop One CEO Rob Lloyd revealed the first images of its new full-system test track in Nevada.

Located outside of Las Vegas, H1's "DevLoop" development site now has a 500-meter (1,640-foot) tube built above what just months ago was barren desert. The full-scale test track is 3.3 meters (about 11 feet) in diameter, large enough to demonstrate a system that would accommodate human passengers. Hyperloop One, which tested a prototype propulsion system in May 2016, plans to perform a public trial of the DevLoop in the first half of this year.

Lloyd and other H1 executives outlined how they believe hyperloop technology could benefit the Gulf region and beyond. "Tying together the Middle East region would produce greater virtual density, without congestion and pollution, spurring innovation, productivity, job growth and more powerful sharing of knowledge, labor and investment," Lloyd says. Hyperloop transport could be an economic and social boon, giving people better access to hospitals, schools, and city attractions.

Hyperloop One also recently attended a summit in New Delhi to discuss possible routes between cities and share a vision for how its high-speed transport technology could improve the lives of Indian citizens.

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