Elon Musk’s hi-tech Hyperloop Competition has finally found its top three teams with Delft Hyperloop (Delft University from the Netherlands) winning the competition.
The Hyperloop Competition I was opened by Musk himself after which he visited the stands of various competing teams. With the competition, Musk is keen to stimulate the development of a revolutionary type of rapid, low-energy transport, which would be capable of transporting people and goods through extremely low-pressure tubes at speeds of 1,200 km/h. Taking up Musk’s challenge, student teams from all over the world designed, built and tested Hyperloop pods.
The three teams that were allowed to test their pods in the tube in a vacuum environment were Delft Hyperloop (Delft University from the Netherlands), Warr Hyperloop (Technical University from Munich, Germany) and MIT Hyperloop (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Delft took home the top award for best overall score, and Warr Hyperloop was awarded for top speed (94 km/h).
The pod entered into the competition by the TU Delft students is extremely lightweight: the use of carbon fibre, which is both light and strong, means that the TU Delft pod weighs just 149 kg. The pod itself is approximately 4.5 metres long and 1 metre high. Magnets are used to allow the pod to hover above the track, which means that very little energy is lost. Speeds of approximately 90 km/h were recorded during the competition. In a longer tube, the TU Delft prototype should be able to cope with speeds of up to 1,200 km/h.
SpaceX organizers were thrilled at the performance of both the pods and the tube during the first-ever experiment as the world found out that the concept truly is a viable idea.
The students from Munich put their pod to the test and wowed onlookers as the design with the highest speed. WARR team members accepted a Hyperloop Pod trophy printed in titanium and hand-signed by Musk himself.