For the past 18 months we’ve been involved in the world’s latest student competition. This is the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, where teams from all over the world have been designing and building a capsule that will be able to travel at speeds of up to 745 miles per hour (1,199 kph) in the Hyperloop transportation system.
The Hyperloop has the potential to completely revolutionize transport because it will massively cut down travel time between cities. Apart from passengers, it will carry freight and has the potential to take lots of vehicles off the road, solving traffic congestion. We’re a 30-strong team with expertise across the board, from aerospace, design and mechanical engineers to architecture students, physicists and economists. What excited us most is that we’ve been working on something that has never been done before. We felt like pioneers in the 1960s trying to reach for the moon.
In one year we’ve designed and built a half-scale hyperloop prototype, with a capsule that will float above the track carrying eight half-scale passengers. In January 2016, we were delighted when it was announced that we had won Elon Musk’s Pod Innovation Award, and had come second in the overall Design and Build category, earning us the right to enter the test site section of the competition.