Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, is hosting a competition for engineering students or any engineers that are up to the challenge. Announced in January, Musk wants to see design ideas for 'The Hyperloop', a super-quick public transport alternative that should aim to travel at speeds of up to 760 miles per hour.
Enter the Auburn Hyperloop Team. The group of mechanical engineers walked away with two awards at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition Design Weekend. They won best overall subsystem and the design concept innovation award. One of the team's leaders Addison Baitcher was interning for Tesla Motors when Musk announced the Hyperloop competition in 2015 and immediately jumped into a team with a co-founder of the team, Alexander Thompson.
The Auburn Hyperloop Team consists of three different levels. Mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and industrial engineering. They all got to work and started designing elements of the Hyperloop that have now won them the two awards. According to the brief Musk gave to the engineers, the Hyperloop would be "making commutes between San Franciso and Los Angeles cheaper and more efficient than driving or flying."
In an interview with OANow.com ,Baitcher said, “We started designing by simply reading. Papers, books, technical documents — whatever we could get our hands on that would give us a jumping-off point. The more we read, the more refined our design became. The main focus of the design was a control system that worked to keep the pod centered on the track as it traveled. This type of system could be adapted and potentially implemented in applications such as rounding corners and turning.”
Thompson says he is excited about the future of the project and that "competing on an international scale is a testament" to their team's "dedication and knowledge."
Teams will be hoping to be selected for the track test that is being planned for Summer 2016, in the United States. The Auburn Hyperloop Team will be hoping they are going to be there.
For further reading on the Auburn Hyperloop Team's efforts to design the future of transport, visit their website: https://www.auhyperloop.com/