UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS - UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- Engineering students at the UI are going to California next week for a competition put on by Space-X. The goal was to create a pod which would travel through a Hyperloop tube. It could be a new way to travel in the future.
They've been working on this for about a year-and-a-half now. This all started with a design. The team from the UI was one of more than 100 from around the world which came up with a plan.
Only 30 teams got the green light to move forward to the production phase. The idea was to make a levitating pod which could carry 20 people and travel through a tube at the speed of sound.
That way, you wouldn't need wheels or rails, like we do now for trains and cars. About 25 students have put in some long hours to make it what it is today.
"Working with the students has given me a good idea about how it is to work with other engineers, what kind of problems arise, how to overcome those problems, how to ensure that there is proper communication between all the sub teams, so it's been a great experience," said UI sophomore Rishab Pohane.
To give you an idea of how fast this would go, it usually takes six hours to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles. This would get you there in 30 minutes. It would also be self-sustaining, with solar panels.
The students are flying out next week and they're shipping the pod there. They say they're excited and ready to see how it stacks up to the other prototypes.
After next weekend, there's one more phase of competition. In the second one, the main goal is maximum speed. They'll be trying them out on the hyperloop test track.
New student teams, as well as those who have already tested pods, can compete. That will be over the summer.