SpaceX founder Elon Musk conceived of Hyperloop as a new technology that could one day transport people and goods in pods through vacuum tubes at speeds of up to 1,200 kilometers per year. To help refine this technology, Musk launched the Hyperloop competition four years ago for student teams from around the world.
Students from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), the University of Zurich, the University of St.Gallen and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland achieved a top speed of 252 kilometers per hour in just 12 seconds at the most recent competition with their Swissloop pod, according to a press release from ETH Zurich. The team also developed its own linear induction motor, which was awarded the SpaceX Innovation Award.
First place went to the team from the Technical University of Munich, whose pod travelled along the 1.25-kilometer-long test track at 463 kilometers per hour. The team from the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) finished third with a speed of 238 kilometers per hour.
Daniel Kaufmann, ETH student and head of mechanical design for Swissloop, is pleased with his team’s results: “With the support of ETH and our sponsors, we have managed to build a completely new pod in just ten months and at the same time develop our own linear induction motor.”
ETH Rector Sarah Springman congratulated the students on their accomplishment. “What the Swissloop team has achieved is very impressive.”