Elon Musk shares “incredible” footage of student hyperloop pod reaching speeds of 201mph
“Incredible’, came Elon Musk’s response to the feat pulled off by the fastest team in his hyperloop contest. The students from Munich had just succeeded in demonstrating an experimental hyperloop vehicle that achieved speeds of 324km/h (201mph) and were personally congratulated by the SpaceX founder.
For those not well versed in the exploits of the 46-year-old billionaire, the hyperloop is a concept honed by Musk that comprises a sealed tube through which a high-speed vehicular pod travels, totally unburdened by air resistance and friction. When the idea eventually comes to fruition, it’s hoped that a train will be created that travels through this partial vacuum at the speed of sound.
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Musk launched his “Hyperloop Pod Competition” back in 2015, in a bid to encourage innovation in the up-and-coming industry. The competitors were tasked with submitting concepts for the “pod”, namely the cabin in which passengers would be transported. Back in February 2016, we reported that 115 teams had been whittled down to 22, and now this week the winners have finally been ensconced in their well-earned glory.
The team, which comprises members of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and is known as the TUM WARR Hyperloop Team, isn’t new to success. Back in January this year, they scooped up a prestigious prize at the SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, California – the award for fastest pod. WARR’s Thomas Ruck was ecstatic: “We’re unbelievably proud to have won this award on behalf of TUM […] It’s a fantastic feeling – after a year and a half of hard work and effort – to be able to say we did everything right.”
Turns out this was just the precursor to bigger and better things to come, as their recent achievement has proved. WARR’s prototype – an incredibly lightweight, carbon-fibre pod – beat an array of international competitors from as far and wide as Canada, Switzerland and the US. Weighing in at 80kg and powered by a 50kW electric motor, the pod can come to a standstill in a remarkable five seconds, despite its staggering capacity for speed.
Musk sung the team’s praises in an enthusiastic tweet on Monday, proclaiming, “Congratulations to WARR team from Tech Univ Munich for winning 2nd @Hyperloop competition! Peak speed of 324 km/h, which is over 200 mph!!”
While the team’s 201mph doesn’t quite measure up to the 700mph envisioned by Musk in his 2013 white paper on the topic, it marks the fastest speeds in a student-run hyperloop contest thus far, showing enormous promise for the future. Onwards and forwards, we say.
(Image: WARR Hyperloop)