Connect with us

Tech News

Team TUM wins SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition with record 288 mph top speed – TechCrunch

Published

on

SpaceX hosted its fourth annual SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition finals on Sunday at the test tube it built outside its Hawthorne HQ. We were on site for the competition, and watched as Team TUM, from the Technical University of Munich, took home the win thanks to achieving the top speed overall of any team to run in the finals.

TUM (formerly known as team WARR Hyperloop in past competitions) is a repeat winner, and achieved a top speed of 288 mph in this year’s finals. That’s the fastest overall for a Hyperloop pod thus far – it beat its own record from last year of 284 mph set during the third SpaceX student run-off. It wasn’t without incident, however – near the end of its run, there was a spark and some debris appeared to fly off the craft, but it still survived the run mostly intact and satisfied SpaceX judges to qualify for the win.

TUM beat out three other finalist competitors, including Delft Hyperloop, EPFL Hyperloop, and Swissloop. Delft unfortunately had a communication error that cut their run short at just around 650 feet into the just over 3/4 mile SpaceX Hyperloop test track. EPFL managed a top speed of 148 mph and Swissloop topped out at 160 mph.

SpaceX Hyperloop Pod test track at its Hawthorne HQ. This is the end where student teams load in their test pod during the annual competition.

For the teams that did get to run on Sunday, the process involved loading their pod, which are roughly the size of bobsleds but little more than engines on wheels, onto the single track which runs the length of the interior of the Hyperloop test tube. The tube is then sealed and de-pressurized to near vacuum, which is essentially how Musk’s original Hyperloop concept envisioned the super-speed transportation method would work.

All the teams gave a good showing, and the total number of student teams was actually 21, with over 700 individual sin total taking part in the competition from a variety of schools including Cal Poly, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Indian Institute of Technology and my own alma mater the University of Windsor (who worked with St. Clair College on their pod).

Teams had to prove to their SpaceX and Boring Company staff advisors that they were ready to run in the tube in order to qualify for the finals, and spent two weeks prior to the finals on Sunday trying to do just that. Of those 21 teams, only the four finalists managed to get the green light to run in the final competition, based on advisor criteria that includes safety and survivability of their pod design. There’s a kind of ‘good luck’ mantra at the competition of saying ‘Break a pod’ prior to a run, but SpaceX engineers don’t actually want team pods to experience catastrophic failure inside the tube while on a run. This year, the competition was even more challenging because all pods have to use their own communication systems for the first time, and the pods must be designed to propel themselves to within 100 feet of the far end of the tube before they stop.

hyperloop pod competition 2019

21 teams in total competed in this year’s competition, and they all brought their pods to display on race day, even though only four finalists actually ran their pods through the test track.

Most of the teams I spoke to who failed to qualify were dismayed but also resolute on coming back and qualifying next year. Some did express a bit of frustration about the gap between some of the teams from smaller schools, and those in the final four (who do qualify repeatedly year after year). Many of the finalists have deep-pocketed corporate backers, including Airbus, while some of the smaller schools have next to no funding – resulting in a cost delta of hundreds of thousands of dollars when it comes to the total bill for the test pods built.

That said, all the teams are clearly thrilled to be able to participate, and see the competition as a chance to essentially get scored to work at one of Musk’s many high tech ventures, including SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company. For those companies, too, it seems like a no-brainer to attempt to recruit from the engineering ranks of these best-in-class technical undergrad and graduate students.

hyperloop pod competition epfl 1

EPFL Hyperloop didn’t win the competition – but they have reason to celebrate, since at least some graduates will probably ‘win’ jobs at Musk’s various companies.

“I think the competition is fun, and inspiring and also useful technology comes out of it,” Musk said regarding the purpose of the event, before answering a final question from Boring Company President Steve Davis about whether or not there will be another competition next year – “Oh yeah of course,” Musk replied, to much applause from the crowd of competitors.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Tech News

Kia EV6 GT Packs 576 Electric Horses And A Drift Mode

Published

on

You might not associate Kia with performance vehicles, but with 576 horsepower on tap, the new EV6 GT unveiled during Monterey Car Week aims to change that.

Continue Reading

Tech News

This Electronic ‘Skin’ Lacking A Chip Could Be The Future Of Wearables

Published

on

But here’s the exciting part: The electronic skin can also be easily customized with a different kind of ion-sensing membrane that is sensitive to other chemicals like glucose and cortisol in the sweat. “We showed sodium sensing, but if you change the sensing membrane, you could detect any target biomarker,” adds co-author of the paper, Jun Min Suh. 

In 2018, a team from Stanford University also came up with a wearable device that can measure cortisol levels in sweat and analyze stress levels. Additionally, 2021 wearable-centric research from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in France revealed that cortisol can be used as a biomarker for treating conditions like burnout and obesity.

Another critical benefit is that the electronic skin is flexible, which means the comfort aspect has already been taken care of. That’s a huge relief, as sleeping while wearing a smartwatch so that it collects detailed information about heart rate patterns is not the most comfortable experience. Plus, sleep tracking coupled with continuous heart rate monitoring is also quite taxing on the battery life of a smartwatch. 

An electronic skin that can transmit data related to heart rate and changes in the chemistry of sweat without a chip or transmission gear is a truly remarkable step. Work in the domain has been making tremendous process. From the potential for tattoos that monitor health to artificial skin that can heal its own bruises, the possibilities are almost endless. 

Continue Reading

Tech News

TikTok Is Furious About This Dodge Charger EV Feature

Published

on

While the TikTokers present at the event seemed blown away by the new Daytona SRT, their comments sections were not as kind. The vehicle’s exhaust feature was panned by a number of users in the replies, with one of the commenters on Fitrich76’s video simply replying: “We reving [sic] speakers now.” Another TikToker, Justin Hillard, is amongst the crowd predicting the move to electric will backfire on Dodge. He said: “Funny part is they will see the sales go down very quickly. Because no one wants electric. Especially because if everyone has to go electric then.” Caleb Schueng added, “You [sic] can I download the challengers exhaust sound? I wanna put it in my civic.”

Comments on ModdedDetroit’s TikTok followed a similar theme, with one user stating: “Such a sad era we’re going into.” Another user simply said, “we truly are going into dark times,” and one user criticized the vehicle’s figurative lack of soul. A notable portion of the comments section claimed Dodge was going to go out of business, though one user did say the car was better than Ford’s Mach-E.

These are just examples from a couple of accounts, but they do seem to reflect the broader reaction across social media. Influencers attending the events seemed quite complimentary about the new EV, while the majority of their followers tore the concept apart. In several cases, the electric engine sound was likened to the noise Simba from “The Lion King” made when he was trying to roar. You could easily argue that comment sections are the last places you want to look while gauging public opinion, but there’s also a case for saying these are the exact people Dodge was hoping to win over with the Daytona SRT.

Continue Reading

Trending