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Hyperloop travel looks cushy, thanks to BMW Designworks

Travel by hyperloop doesn’t sound all that luxurious, since you’re stuck in a windowless capsule and you have to remain seated for the entire journey. But if BMW Designworks had its way, it would look and feel like a first-class experience.

BMW Designworks, the automaker’s creative consultancy, partnered with Virgin Hyperloop One to give its Dubai hyperloop a full-scale prototype interior for UAE Innovation Month. The result is something you might find in a first-class airplane cabin, albeit without windows.

Designworks had two major constraints — there can’t be windows, and passengers need to remain seated for the duration of the trip. It then focused on the humans in the seats, providing them with plenty to do, whether it’s adjusting light colors or perusing a built-in entertainment display. The leather seats have integrated heating and cooling, something that’s been a hot item in the automotive industry for years.

Since Virgin Hyperloop One is working with the regional transit authority to establish its first line, Designworks also relied on classic Arabic patterns and references to tailor the interior to its users. While rumors of specific routes have surfaced, Dubai’s transport officials put the kibosh on those rumors, tweeting that nothing is set in stone as of yet.

The hyperloop is one wild way to travel. It sends a sealed pod along a low-pressure or vacuum-sealed tube, greatly reducing or eliminating air resistance and friction, which would permit incredibly fast travel — Virgin Hyperloop One is aiming for a speed of about 670 mph. Feasibility studies have been launched around the world, from the UAE to a proposed route from Cleveland to Chicago.