UK,Sunday 31 January 2016
Young engineers from Massachusetts’ Institute of Technology beat 1,000 competitors to design the transport of the future.
MIT students have won the chance to design tech pioneer Elon Musk’s so-called Hyperloop transport system, which will see people travel at around 700mph in a 12-foot diameter tube.
The design concept submitted by the young engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology beat enterprise projects put forward by 1,000 competitors from 100 universities across the US.
Passengers would be transported in aluminium pods, each holding 20 to 30 people, moving over air bearings – similar to how a disc moves on an air hockey table.
Mr Musk says this would allow people to move at supersonic speeds with low friction by accelerating them through a travelling electromagnetic pulse.
As the pod nears it destination, it would be slowed by the same electromagnets and the kinetic energy absorbed back into the system.
Mr Musk says the system is designed to run between cities that are several hundred miles apart, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The winning team will build their pods and test them at the world’s first Hyperloop Test Track, being built adjacent to SpaceX’s Hawthorne, California headquarters.
Delft University of Technology from The Netherlands finished second, the University of Wisconsin third, Virginia Tech fourth and the University of California, Irvine, fifth.