Delft team wins prestigious Hyperloop race

A student team from Delft University in the Netherlands came in first place over the weekend at the Hyperloop competition, an ultra-fast futuristic vehicle conceived of by Tesla founder Elon Musk.

This weekend’s competition was organised by SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space company. Although the teams have been participating in the Hyperloop competition since 2015, this weekend was the first time they could test their Hyperloop pods on the 1.2-kilometre-long SpaceX track, reported Business Insider UK.

30 teams had been selected in 2016 to participate in this weekend’s race after passing the design phase of the competition, but only three teams were actually allowed to race on the track after passing a series of tests, including a safety test, a structural test and a vacuum chamber test: Delft University in the Netherlands, MIT from the US and the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

The student team from Delft University came in first place, achieving the highest overall score after racing along the vacuum tube track and winning the design and construction award. The award for fastest pod went to the Technical University of Munich, and the team from MIT came in third place, winning for safety and reliability.

Speaking about her team’s win, Delft University’s Marleen van de Kerkhof said: “We weren’t the fastest, but that wasn’t the prize we were going for. We wanted to deliver an innovative, solid contribution. That’s why we didn’t focus on speed alone, but also on efficiency in building as well as on the cost and safety of the pod. On that basis we won this award.”

As Business Insider UK reported, Delft University and MIT were the teams to beat going into the competition. Delft University had previously won the Pod Innovation Award in January 2016, while MIT had secured the Best Overall Design Award during the design phase of the competition in February 2016.

The winning team from Delft University travelled along the Hyperloop vacuum tube at 90 kilometres an hour. SpaceX’s goal is to eventually build a system in which pods will be able to travel at more than 1,000 kilometres per hour.


Image credit: Delft Hyperloop

Leave a Reply