UT students shaping the future of Hyperloop technology

Imagine traveling from Austin to Dallas in just 15 minutes. Tesla and Space-X CEO Elon Musk says a Hyperloop could do it.

Imagine traveling from Austin to Dallas in just 15 minutes. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says a Hyperloop could make that a possibility.

The Hyperloop is a type of transportation that some say could be here in the next 10 to 20 years. 

Bullet shaped pods would shoot through tube-like structures, traveling at around 700 miles per hour. 

A design this complicated requires a lot of brain power, which is why SpaceX is hosting a pod designing competition to get some ideas. 

Two groups of University of Texas students are participating, Texas Guadaloop and 512 Hyperloop.

KVUE talked to the 512 Hyperloop team to get a taste of what they'll be showing off. 

UT junior Sahar Rashed showed KVUE a pod that 512 Hyperloop built to fit inside a Hyperloop.

"A Hyperloop is a hypersonic bullet train," she says. "It travels in a controlled environment." 

Musk is trying to create one capable of reaching speeds up to 700 miles per hour. 

He calls it the future of mass transit and about a year ago, he reached out to college students for design ideas. 

"He kind of started a competition and asked for student teams to be created," Rashed said. "SpaceX has designed a tube and they've given us all the specifications for that tube to be able to design a pod to travel inside of it." 

After being selected to compete about six months ago, 512 Hyperloop got to work creating a pod that will travel using magnetic levitation. 

How does that work? 

"It consists of a magnet floating over aluminum and as that magnet moves across the aluminum it creates its own opposite magnetic field that retracts the original magnetic," UT senior Eric Simmons said. 

"The faster we go the more it kind of repels away from the rail," Rashed said. 

The 512 Hyperloop pod is a prototype and about half the size of a full-scale pod. It's only capable of traveling 300 miles per hour. 

Next week, the team will test it out on the Space X Hyperloop Test Track which is one mile long and six feet in diameter. 

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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