Three times students of the Technical University of Munich have already won the Hyperloop Pod Competition, which was launched by Elon Musk. It is no wonder that the team around Florian Janke has set high goals for this year as well. In Munich, the junior engineers have now for the first time presented key data of the transport capsule, with which the students want to convince in Las Vegas this year. The most important changes compared to the previous year: The weight of the construction was reduced by as much as eight kilograms. The capsule weighs only about 70 kilograms. In addition, the eight built electric motors come to a power of 320 kilowatts. Compared to the previous year, this means roughly a doubling.
Last year there was no time for test drives
Basically, it is not a radically new concept. Instead, the students have mainly focused on developing the previous year's model as meaningfully as possible. This is also due to the fact that last year was simply not enough time for extensive tests. Therefore, during the competition in Las Vegas there were problems with the control software. The result: The engines could not play their full power. However, it speaks for the design of the Munich, that they still decided the competition for themselves. This year, a new speed record is targeted: If everything goes according to plan, the capsule will accelerate to at least 600 kilometers per hour.
A spin-off is an option for the future
Janke is optimistic that this will be enough for the win again. His argument: Most of the other teams have adopted the concept of Munich from last year. But they lack a year of experience. In the long term, the team at the TU Munich can also imagine that the subject of Hyperloop will be tackled full time and an appropriate startup. How this can work is observed in the Netherlands. There, the startup Hardt at the University of Delft was founded and now operates the only European Hyperloop test track on which rides with the weight of real passengers can be simulated. German tech investor Frank Thelen is also considering investing in the company .