School of Informatics

Students gear up for high-speed travel contest

Edinburgh students including representation from Informatics is competing in the finals of one of the world’s most prestigious engineering challenges.

The HYPED team is in California for the Hyperloop Pod Competition. The contest requires participants to design and build a prototype travel pod capable of high-speed travel. It is the third consecutive year in which HYPED has reached the finals, this time with their third prototype, ‘The Flying Podsman’. The revolutionary Hyperloop system is the brainchild of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. It is intended to transport passengers over land at around 750mph, travelling in pods in a near-vacuum tube.


In this short film, HYPED team members explain the science behind Hyperloop.

Global contest

The competition enables university and commercial teams to play a part in the development of Hyperloop. It gives them the chance to present their ideas and try them out on a custom-built test track. Some 21 teams from around the world are taking part in the one-day event on 21 July. It takes place at the headquarters of SpaceX in Hawthorne. The company was founded by Elon Musk in 2002.

Edinburgh’s HYPED team was founded in 2015 to construct working Hyperloop models and has grown to more than 200 students, from a range of academic disciplines, including Informatics.

Poddy McPodface

HYPED's first prototype, affectionally called Poddy McPodface will soon be on display in the Atrium of the Informatics Forum. Poddy McPodface was built and tested during the 2016/17 Hyperloop competition. Their second prototype, Poddy the Second, placed 6th in the 2017/18 competition.

Commercial possibilities

Several companies are investigating using Hyperloop systems as the transport of the future. The Hyperloop One Global Challenge, which tasked engineers with designing ways to connect cities in various regions of the world, was won by the HYPED team in 2017. Their HYPED proposal to connect Edinburgh to London, via Manchester and Birmingham, would enable passengers to complete the 413-mile journey in 50 minutes.


Related links


HYPED on Twitter

School of Engineering