A team of students from MIT has won the top spot in a design contest for the SpaceX Hyperloop high-speed transportation system. The contest was held at Texas A&M University and included over 100 other design teams from around the world. The MIT students are all graduate students and won the overall design award for the pod that will ride inside the Hyperloop.
The MIT team will now move on to small-scale prototypes of the design and test it this summer on a test track that will be constructed next to SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, California. The SpaceX Hyperloop is a transit system that would be used to connect cities that are separated by no more than 900 miles. People and freight would be placed into pods like the one the MIT students has designed.
The interior of the tube would be a near vacuum and with the absence of air or surface friction, the pods are envisioned to be able to travel at around 750 mph using low-energy propulsion. The MIT team has students from a variety of engineering disciplines and has been working on a sub-scale prototype pod since the fall.
The design of the capsule is required to be equipped with sensors that can broadcast real-time telemetry data during the trip down the mile long test track. The next step is to move from simulations to an actual product that can be tested with braking systems and magnets.