The German WARR Hyperloop student team from the Technical University of Munich won the hyperloop race on 22 July. In the vacuum tube, their pods reached a top speed of 457 km/h, much faster than number two, the Dutch team from Delft University of Technology.
The Delft Hyperloop team suffered technical issues, including a burnt-out board computer and software problems. The team was forced to use an older version of the computer, and eventually only reached a speed of 142 km/h. This was much less than the intended 450 km/h estimated by the team prior to the race. Third place was for the Swiss EPFL team at 85 km/h.
WARR Hyperloop was the absolute top favourite. The same team was also quickest during the previous two hyperloop races, and kept making massive progress. During the first race in January 2017, they achieved a mere 93 km/h, before reaching 324 second time around, and now exceeding 450 km/h.
The fact that two of the three teams suffered technical issues is also proof of how complicated it is to accelerate so quickly and then brake on time, as the tube in which the record must be set is only 1 km long. This year, all the pods were required to be independently propelled for the first time, with no additional devices allowed to help them up to speed in the vacuum tube. This was the first attempt by the Swiss EPFL team, who made it through the test week, together with Delft Hyperloop and WARR, despite their inexperience. A total of 15 teams were forced to drop out, making it an impressive enough feat for teams to be allowed into the vacuum tube (read: 'Team Delft Hyperloop waiting for the green light')
With the race behind them, the Delft team now wishes to focus on other aspects of the hyperloop: the required infrastructure and feasibility. 'This year, some of our team have been researching the future vision of the hyperloop. We've looked into the design of a station, the routing for the hyperloop and the cost of a hyperloop ticket. We believe this will have a great impact, regardless of the results of the race,' explains Maaike Hakker, team spokesperson, in a press release.
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Image: WARR Hyperloop
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