On Thursday evening, University of Edinburgh students presented a model for a Hyperloop in the United Kingdom that could make 300 metres per second travel a reality.
Imagine it is a Sunday night. You have had a boozy weekend in London and you have missed the last Megabus back to Edinburgh. But never fear! Luckily for you, the year is 2035 and technology is here to save the day.
You head to a nearby Hyperloop station, sit in a comfortable, reclined chair and press the button for Edinburgh. An on-demand Hyperloop pod arrives. Your chair automatically slides into the pod. Before you know it, you are whizzing at 1,200 kilometres per hour in a frictionless tube under the British countryside.
40 minutes later you arrive in Waverley station and catch a driverless cab home, ready for class on Monday morning. Suddenly, missing the overnight coach does not seem so bad afterall.
Hyperloop – Elon Musk’s fifth mode of travel – involves propulsing passenger capsules down a tube in a near-vacuum state, with the pods travelling at nearly the speed of sound.
HypED is an interdisciplinary group of students from Edinburgh who first came together in 2015 for a Hyperloop design competition hosted by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX.
The competition drew international attention. SpaceX invited HypED to Texas and awarded them for their passenger-friendly design of the Hyperloop pod interior, something no other group had tackled. The trophy sits in Teviot Row House and contains a piece of steel from the Hyperloop track.
This year the competition is running again and the team are aiming to reach the final round and test their prototype.
HypED are encouraging anyone with ideas, funding or wanting to join in to get in touch through their Facebook page.
The event last Thursday at 50 George Square drew over 300 guests. A few technical difficulties kept the speakers on their toes but they overcame them well and provided a cohesive, enjoyable and enlightening experience.
The event was introduced by the Chair of Future Infrastructure, Professor Gordon Masterton, with an overview from HypED President, Adam Anyszewski.
The talk covered many social, economic and environmental aspects of the model with each section delivered by a different speaker.
This varied the tone and pace, and each team member spoke passionately about their subject.
The team submitted their application for the SpaceX 2016/ 2017 competition on Friday.