SpaceX works with students at A&M to create new transportation system

Published: Jan. 29, 2016 at 8:44 PM CST
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Reaching speeds of 750 miles per hour for mass transportation that cuts down the time it takes to travel between two cities. That's the objective for more than 1,000 engineering students.

The SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition is being held at Texas A&M. It's made up of students selected by SpaceX to present their designs to a panel of judges for a new form of transportation.

In all, 124 teams from 20 different countries had one common goal: for their hyperloop design to be picked as a finalist in the weekend design competition.

"This is something that we can at least pave the way for a new transportation system, a public transportation which we just don't have in the U.S.," said Texas A&M participant Matthew Martinez.

The concept is to have a system of pods that will transport people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than thirty minutes. Team HYPED from Scotland thinks this type of transportation would be successful a little closer to their home.

"It's really exciting to us. It's a technology that we think could be implemented in a lot of places around the world," said team member Hirish Agarwal."We have an idea to implement it between Edinburgh and London."

One Aggie team, Hullabaloop has been working on the project for nearly 14 weeks.

"We've worked very hard on this, you know, completely cut off Christmas vacation and break and all that, and we just stayed here on campus and worked," said Martinez.

One thing all teams could agree on is that they're learning from each other.

"There's geographic barriers, but also the difference in education and inspirations from other teams," said participant Ian Devlaming. "There's a lot of different designs, things that aren't similar or even work similarly at all, and you can't believe different teams came up with such different ideas."

They had the chance to look at and discuss each other's models.

"It's really a lot of fun to see what other people are thinking, the ideas that they have and just so many people that are excited about a topic," said Agarwal. "It's just a really good environment to be in while you're studying."

The finalists will have chance to build and test their design prototype. The final phase of the competition will be held this summer. If you want to stop by, the competition it is open to the public Saturday from 1:30-5:00 p.m. located at the Hall of Champions on the west side of Kyle Field.

The Friday festivities were capped by a speech by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.