TU Delft students win prize for best Hyperloop pod

A team of engineering students from Delft University of Technology have won the top prize in a US competition inspired by Tesla’s Elon Musk to design a futuristic form of transport.

Hyperloop

The TU Delft Hyperloop pod

Image: TU Delft

To stimulate the development of this revolutionary type of transport, Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk launched The Hyperloop Pod Competition. Student teams from all over the world were challenged to design, build and test Hyperloop pods to achieve the highest possible speed in trials  in a 1.2 km-long tube near the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Los Angeles.

Best overall pod

The contest started off with 29 teams, of which 5 made it through the mandatory safety and design tests. Only 3 capsules were eventually allowed on the track and were judged on reliability, design and scalability. The TU Delft team was awarded the overall prize.

‘It was precisely this award that we had set our sights on. We tried to focus on every aspect and to create a pod that could easily be scaled-up,’ says team captain Tim Houter. ‘And our hard work has now been rewarded, it is fantastic.’

The prize for the fastest machine went to Munich’s university of technology and MIT earlier won the prize for safety. Delft won the overall prize, based on the points given for design and safety as well as for speed.

Lightweight design

The TU Delft pod  is extremely lightweight, because carbon fibre is used in its construction. Magnets keep the pod hovering above the track, so 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 achieve speeds of up to 1,200 km/h.

Several members of the TU Delft team continue to develop and improve the design. More about the project can be found on the Delft Hyperloop website.