2018-2019 Design

The 2019 SpaceX Hyperloop Competition is the second time the Rice Hyperloop team will compete. The team consists of roughly 30 members of undergraduates and graduates at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Read below to find information on the design of the pod, the design timeline and competition results.

To read about the 2017-2018 design competition, click here.

The Hyperloop Pod Competition

SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition challenges students from across the globe to create the fastest hyperloop pod without crashing. These pods race inside SpaceX’s 5,000 ft Hyperloop Tube, in which the air pressure has been reduced to about 0.1% of atmospheric pressure. Last year’s winning team reached a top speed of 290mph. The Hyperloop Pod Competition fosters an explosion of highly creative ideas every year. This January, we will present our final design package to SpaceX for review. SpaceX will then announce the finalists, who will travel to their headquarters in Hawthorne, California, in the summer of 2018 to race their pods.

Team Goals

Our goal is to create a design that will be selected for the final pod competition in the summer of 2018. In the process, our team will gain valuable experience in engineering, leadership, and teamwork to help us find solutions to the large engineering challenges. We have a strong team of undergraduate and graduate students who are excited to pursue the next steps in our design, but we need finances to achieve our goals.

Pod Design

The task of designing the pod is split into five different team: Structures, Propulsion, Braking, Levitation and Controls

This year, the propulsion team is part of a Senior Design team. As part of their course curriculum, they will be designing and building the propulsion system to be used on the hyperloop pod.’

Design Timeline

End of October – Submit Preliminary Design Briefing to SpaceX and have the main design concepts for the pod defined.

Winter 2018 – Medium/High fidelity prototypes of all components will be designed and built. The team will also be submitting a Final Design Package to SpaceX.

Spring 2019 – Full Hyperloop pod will be assembled and testing of sub-systems will be completed.

July 21, 2019 – SpaceX Hyperloop Competition

Competition Results

Rice Hyperloop made it past the first round of eliminations and continued onto the Final Design Package (FDP). After submission, the team had the chance to discuss and review their designs with SpaceX and Boring Company engineers. It was a great learning experience and chance to gain valuable feedback on design choices. Unfortunately, the team did not make it on to the final round of the competition, which included the top 22 teams. SpaceX did invite three team members to watch the competition in Hawthorne, CA. See the pictures from the 2019 competition.

The final round of the competition occurred on July 21st,  2019. The Technical University of Munich (TUM) took the first place prize in the competition. See the full results below:

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

2018-19 Rice Hyperloop Pod Rendering