Over 100 teams from around the world will be attending Design Weekend this weekend at Texas A&M to present their designs for a Hyperloop, a transportation system that could reach supersonic speeds.

The idea of a Hyperloop was proposed by Elon Musk, co-founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, in 2013,

Hyperloop is a new mode of transport that seeks to [create] both fast and inexpensive [travel] for people and goods. Hyperloop consists of a low pressure tube with capsules that are transported at both low and high speeds throughout the length of the tube. The capsules are supported on a cushion of air, featuring pressurized air and aerodynamic lift. The capsules are accelerated via a magnetic linear accelerator affixed at various stations on the low pressure tube with rotors contained in each capsule. Passengers may enter and exit Hyperloop at stations located either at the ends of the tube, or branches along the tube length.

Musk's SpaceX will be constructing a one-mile test track near their Hawthorne, CA headquarters for human-sized tests this summer.  The proposed transportation system could reduce interstate travel down to a matter of minutes, take the average three hour driving time from Dallas to Austin to only 15 minutes.

Two of the teams attending Design Weekend are from UT Austin.  Michael Rukavina, one of the UT team leaders, believes Hyperloop travel could connect cities and states for cross-country travel within a decade, allowing people to live in Austin and easily commute to Houston for work, for example.  Their current prototype is clocking in at over 300 mph, but believe that speeds of 700 mph are possible.

The UT Austin teams also note that Hyperloop travel would be safe, reliable, and completely devoid of weather-related delays.

via KXAN

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