Edinburgh Hyperloop diary: Making the dream a reality

Picking up a year after we left them, the third instalment of our series sees Jack Noble from Edinburgh University’s HYPED team take up diary duties. He reflects on the progress made, placing highly in competitions and publishing a paper on the challenges they are facing as they seek to make Hyperloop a reality.

HYPED team at SpaceX

Since we last wrote in the summer of 2017 the HYPED team has made incredible progress. In the annual SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in California this July, our prototype pod was the only one to demonstrate a working magnetic levitation and propulsion system and we were placed sixth in the world, gaining positive feedback from Elon Musk and the SpaceX team. As Hyperloop technology gains momentum across the globe, our HYPED student team from Edinburgh is becoming one to watch.

At HYPED we are convinced that Hyperloop could become the transportation system of the future and our work over the past 12 months has seen us looking at the challenges that we’ll need to overcome to make this a reality. As part of our research work we’ve written a paper that summarises efforts to develop and test Hyperloop technology over the past five years.

We’re all well aware of the challenges the new transport technology faces; if Hyperloop is to be a success we will need to tackle challenges including designing tubes that maintain a near vacuum environment, construction conundrums such as tunnelling, and the digital infrastructure to run it all. There is quite a way to go, but every month that passes small and significant milestones are reached.

Our winning submission in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge proposed that the UK route should connect Edinburgh to London, via Manchester and Birmingham. Our proposed route would take just 50 minutes to cover the 666 kilometres (413 miles), giving passengers a reliable, faster transportation link between major cities whilst also stimulating new housing, jobs and improving regional inequalities.

At HYPED, we see Hyperloop as a future competitor to rail and short haul flights, and the idea of being able to connect cities across the globe like metro stations opens up a world of opportunity. Read more about the developments in this area on the website of HYPED sponsor, RS Components