MIT Team Wins Hyperloop Pod Design Competition

In addition to testing reusable rockets, SpaceX is also coming up with innovative ideas that could affect our everyday lives here on the ground. The company recently held a competition where teams could submit pod designs for Hyperloop, a super high-speed public transportation concept. The competition took place at Texas A&M and Elon Musk surprised the crowd by showing up to announce the winners.

A team from MIT created the winning design and will now go on to create the pod and test it on a one-mile track being constructed near SpaceX’s Hawthorne, Calif. headquarters. Other teams also will have the opportunity to test their pods at the track facility.

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 1.53.56 PM

Image via MIT Hyperloop Team website

According to the MIT Hyperloop Team’s website, their primary design goal was to  “demonstrate high speed, low drag levitation technology. We aim to build a light pod to allow us to achieve the highest cruise speed. Pending SpaceX launcher specifications, our 250kg pod should be accelerated at 2.4G to a max speed of 110m/s.”

Their pod will utilize a passive magnetic levitation system, an innovative lift suspension system, and a mechanically fail-safe braking system, so that if the actuators or computers fail, the system will brake automatically.

Musk first talked about the Hyperloop idea in a white paper published on the SpaceX website in August 2013. The idea was inspired by Musk’s frustrations from being stuck in LA traffic. He wanted to create something that could theoretically take passengers from LA to San Francisco in 30 minutes, which would involve traveling at speeds of about 700 mph.

There were lots of winners that came out of the 2 day competition. Here is the complete list of winners provided by Texas A&M University.

Best Overall Design Award: MIT Hyperloop Team, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Pod Innovation Award: Delft Hyperloop, Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands)
Pod Technical Excellence Award: Badgerloop, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Pod Technical Excellence Award: Hyperloop at Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech
Pod Technical Excellence Award: HyperXite, University of California Irvine

Over teams advancing include:

  • rLoop (non-student team)
    uWaterloo Hyperloop, University of Waterloo
    UWashington Hyperloop, University of Washington
    University of Toronto, University of Toronto
    RUMD Loop, University of Maryland and Rutgers University
    GatorLoop, University of Florida
    Team HyperLynx, University of Colorado-Denver
    Hyperloop UC, University of Cincinnati
    USCB Hyperloop, University of California-Santa Barbara
    bLoop, University of California-Berkeley
    TAMU Aerospace Hyperloop, Texas A&M
    WARR Hyperloop, Technical University of Munich (Germany)
    Purdue Hyperloop Design Team, Purdue University
    Codex, Oral Roberts University
    Lehigh Hyperloop, Lehigh University
    Keio Alpha, Keio University
    Drexel Hyperloop, Drexel University
    Carnegie Mellon Hyperloop, Carnegie-Mellon University

Featured Image courtesy of SpaceX via AP


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Written by:
Kristin is an aspiring entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. During the day she is an ops, biz dev, and marketing maven for Fission Strategy
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