MBZUAI: advancing the transport sector with AI

By Georgia Wilson
Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) and Virgin Hyperloop join forces to advance the transport sector with AI...

The collaboration between Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) and Virgin Hyperloop aims to accelerate the global development of hyperloop technology and drive innovation when it comes to sustainable transport.

MBZUAI is one of the world’s first graduate level and research based artificial intelligence (AI) universities, its partnership with Virgin Hyperloop - a Californian company and leader in hyperloop development - will drive a collaborative approach to research and innovation when it comes t oAI technology. 

Via a virtual ceremony, His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at MBZUAI, and His Excellency Sultan Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World and Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). 

Witnesses to the signing included:

  • Professor Sir Michael Brady, Interim President at MBZUAI
  • Dr. Ling Shao, Executive Vice President and Provost at MBZUAI
  • Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Executive Vice President for Outreach and Engagement at MBZUAI
  • Harj Dhaliwal, Managing Director Middle East and India at Virgin Hyperloop

“This partnership exemplifies the immense capacity of AI to reshape the world around us by breaking boundaries. Virgin Hyperloop will change the way we move around the world. MBZUAI will help enable this by providing access to some of the world’s most talented AI professionals, as well as superior research facilities, which can contribute to realizing Virgin Hyperloop’s vision,” commented Speaking on the announcement, His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.

Via the new partnership, MBZUAI and Virgin Hyperloop will bring together the best AI minds of both parties to achieve three core objectives: 

  • Joint fundamental research in several key AI domains
  • Massively parallel cloud computing initiatives
  • Provide a range of solution-oriented commercial projects in the smart transportation industry

Hyperloop technology is a new form of transportation with ambitions to become the most sustainable means of transportation in the 21st century. Fundamental to Virgin Hyperloo’s future operations in the Middle East, the company will use AI as the core basis to explore knowledge and exchange opportunities between MBZUAI and Virgin Hyperloop. 

“Our region has great potential to emerge as a global powerhouse from the current economic situation. The transportation and technology sector – and that includes advancements in AI in particular – will define our regional capabilities in the long-term. Supported by AI, we are ultimately offering time with this disruptive, completely new, and sustainable technology that will help us to create an on-demand economy. We seek to revolutionize regional transport and trade sectors through a passenger and cargo hyperloop-enabled system, powered by AI. We can transport people and high-priority goods at the speed of an airliner, moving them between economic zones, cities and emirates. The UAE’s education sector, through partnerships such as our new collaboration with MBZUAI, will have a meaningful role in enabling and driving this very exciting and growing industry,” added His Excellency Sultan Bin Sulayem.

“With hyperloop, we find ourselves at an important crossroads of transport innovation. AI will play an important part and it promises to transform the customer experience, from seamless check-ins to smooth system operations. Together with our institutional partners at MBZUAI, we want to further accelerate the global hyperloop development, leading to the commercialization of the most sustainable means for mass transport in the 21st century,” concluded Dhaliwal. 

MBZUAI will offer student Master of Science (MSc) and PhD level programs, whilst maintaining engagement with policymakers and businesses globally in order to efficiently harness AI as a force for positive transformation. 

For more information on business topics in Europe, Middle East and Africa please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.

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Image source: Virgin Hyperloop 


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