It’s been an action-packed year for the three teams. After succeeding to reach the finals at the Hyperloop Pod Competition Design weekend held in Texas, they had to establish a working pod. The Kyle Field Hall of Champions, Texas University was filled with sketches, 3D rendering, and models. The participants dashed through the 1.25-kilometer tube SpaceX, constructed in Southern California, adjacent to its central office.
The climax of the competition was a speed run through the airtight track. Individual pods were strategically positioned into the tube ahead of the SpaceX-customized “pusher” which propels the cars to gain momentum. Though the Hyperloop needs to be super fast, like 30 minutes from San Francisco to Los Angeles, this process is not as quick. The decompression takes between 30 to 45 minutes.
Of the 27 teams, only three got a chance to put their pod into the tube. This followed numerous tests to establish its safety when launched down the tube. The checks included functional, structural, navigation, mechanical, open-air run and vacuum test.
It’s not shocking that MIT carried the day as the winners of the design competition in Texas. Both the Warr Team from the Technical University of Munich and the team from the Delft University of Technology also tested their pods in the sealed tube.
All the teams had enough time to check and adjust their pods after the event failing to take place in the late summer 2016. Warr team’s Marianna Avezum speaking to Engadget stated that her team chose to dismantle the magnets on their framework, so they could only utilize the wheels to minimize friction. That hassle paid off when their team emerged at the top of the competition on Sunday, as the fastest run.