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College Students from Around the World Competed in Hyperloop Design Competition

The Hyperloop is one of the best ideas that nobody has invented yet. As an idea it has been around for quiet awhile, but when it comes to the reality of propelling a train through a tube at the speed of an airplane the engineers aren’t as far ahead as the concept artists.

Nevertheless, Hyperloop Transport Technologies announced in October that a five mile circuit test track will be built in California at a cost of $150 million. Now, adding further fuel to the Hyperloop …hype, lon Musk’s SpaceX will be running a design competition to come up with the best possible design for the Hyperloop pod prototype.

The competition took place at the end of January and  pinned teams of students from 100 universities and 20 countries against each other to create the best possible design. It will take place at Texas A&M University over a two day period.

The student engineer teams were chosen by SpaceX from hundreds of entries. They include teams from Lodz University of Technology in Poland (‘Hyperlodz’); Stanford University (‘Pod People’); and The University of Wisconsin (‘Badgerloop’).

Each competition team will get the chance to present their design at the end of the two day event to judges from Texas A&M, SpaceX, as well as Musk’s other company, Tesla. The winning team will then get the opportunity to “build and test their design prototype at the world’s first Hyperloop Test Track being built by SpaceX adjacent to its headquarters in Hawthorne, California,” SpaceX says.

Interesting, the competition is completely independent of the two startup companies that are racing to develop Hyperloop systems. Hyperloop Transport Technologies and Hyperloop Technologies Inc , both expect to test their own prototype systems in 2016. HTI has just purchased land in North Los Vegas, and HTT is nearly ready to begin construction on their track in Quay Valley.

It was Musk who first popularised the idea of the Hyperloop back in 2013, and he now plans to build his own test track to in Texas. He is sponsoring the design competition not only to get ideas for the Hyperloop design but to build excitement around the concept of futuristic transportation.


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