Students on quest for high-speed success
A team of Edinburgh students is the UK’s sole representative in a prestigious engineering contest to help develop a futuristic form of transport.
The HYPED team are heading to California for the final of the annual competition, which challenges participants to design and build a prototype travel pod for the Hyperloop.
The revolutionary system – the brainchild of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk – is intended to transport passengers over land at around 750mph, travelling in pods in a near-vacuum tube.
A pod could carry up to 20 passengers, and building a route linking Edinburgh and London could allow journey times of just 45 minutes.
The team will compete against 17 other teams from around the world at the event, run by Musk’s aerospace company, SpaceX, on 22 July.
Their pod will be tested in SpaceX’s mile-long Hyperloop track.
Founded in 2015 by a small group of engineering students, HYPED has grown into a diverse team with more than 100 members from a range of academic disciplines.
The team unveiled its prototype pod at the National Museum of Scotland on 3 July, just 36 hours before it was packed into a crate and shipped to California.
The team won a design award at a SpaceX event held in Texas in January 2016 and took part in the 2017 Hyperloop Pod Competition final.
HYPED was also the only student team to win a top prize last year in a related commercial competition, called the Hyperloop Global Challenge.
The contest – which had more than 2,600 entrants – tasked teams with developing detailed plans for the most feasible routes to build one of the world’s first Hyperloop systems.