HYPED in 2019 SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition

By Paul Fears | 10 September 2019

SpaceX held the first Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2015.  Through a competitive environment, SpaceX aimed to promote and support the development of functional Hyperloop prototypes and encourage innovation.   Student teams from around the world were tasked with designing and building the best high-speed pod.

SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition and team

In July 2019, SpaceX staged the fourth competition – Hyperloop Pod Competition IV.  In all, twenty-one teams took part, representing universities from around the world including India, Australia, France, USA, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

HYPED Team from the University of Edinburgh

The HYPED team from the University of Edinburgh was one of three UK-based teams entering the competition.  Founded in 2015, the HYPED team had grown to over 200 registered student team members in 2019.  The members’ wide range of skills and experience allowed HYPED to excel in developing the Hyperloop.

In June 2019, the HYPED team unveiled The Flying Podsman, their 3rd Generation Hyperloop Pod prototype.  The latest pod was the culmination of eleven months work following the Hyperloop Pod Competition III in July 2018.

The Flying Podsman was a great example of engineering ingenuity.  In particular, the Arc Synchronous Motors exhibited a revolutionary new form of magnetic propulsion and braking.

In the competition, the HYPED team was thwarted by a late stage technical fault.  This prevented the Pod setting a top speed.  The Pod’s performance in all other testing was superb, passing all mechanical tests and fit checks, certifying the chassis and other structural components. The software and electronics performed as intended during testing, as did the cutting edge Arc Synchronous Motors.  Having successfully completed the battery tests, The Flying Podsman was given the all clear for a functional test.  Unfortunately, a fault with the brakes prevented any further participation.  Despite the set-back, the development programme continues with the HYPED team aiming to create a fully functioning The Flying Podsman.

The designs for the new Pod are already taking shape and the HYPED team has revealed that for POD2020 they will be pursuing full magnetic levitation, propulsion and braking – the Hyperloop Holy Trinity.

Hyperloop Pod Competition IV Awards

  • Technical University of Munich (TUM Hyperloop) – Top Speed (288 mph)
  • ETH Zurich (Swissloop) – 160 mph
  • EPFL – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – 147 mph
  • Delft University (Delft Hyperloop) – 125 mph

Bunting Proud Sponsors

“We congratulate the HYPED team on their achievements,” said Matthew Swallow, Bunting’s Magnet Design Engineer.  “Engineering success is only achieved through continual development, embracing the moments when design plans do not go to plan.  Overcoming those hurdles will result in a better final engineered solution.  We are proud to have sponsored the team.”

All photographs provided by the HYPED Hyperloop Team

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