Hyperloop pod design unveiled by MIT scientists after 1st test

© MIT Hyperloop
In a week that saw the Hyperloop complete its first ever track test, scientists at MIT have unveiled their design for the high speed pod.

Since winning a competition to design Elon Musk’s super-fast transport system in January, a team of 30 researchers and engineers has been developing “a mode of transportation that could change how we think about travel.”

While Musk has said he would like to create a global network of tubes capable of transporting people and cargo at speeds of up to 800 miles per hour (1280km/h), the MIT team has admitted that their current pod can only reach 250 miles per hour (402km/h).

The version unveiled in Boston on Friday is scaled down to one third to half the size of that planned for the final capsule, which would be capable of carrying 28 passengers, according to design plans.

The droplet shaped pod is propelled by magnets that will levitate it off tracks, reducing friction and allowing for greater speed.

Critics of the idea say the cost of the system will make it impractical for widespread use, while MIT scientists have pointed out some other major technical obstacles.

One issue is that, while the Hyperloop has no problem reaching speed, slowing down presents more of a challenge, as the braking systems require more testing. Making the pod turn has also proved difficult.

Unlike Wednesday’s Hyperloop test in the Las Vegas desert, it is understood that a number of trials funded by Musk will be conducted inside tubes this August.