Chennai IIT students' HyperLoop Pod gets Elon Musk's attention
Two hyperloop routes are planned to be set up in Chennai. Elon Musk was impressed with the Chennai team's work
Chennai IIT team, Avishkar, may not have walked away the winner at the global HyperLoop Pod competition, but they certainly caught the attention of billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk of the U.S.
SpaceX and Virgin Hyperloop One are among the pioneers of the hyperloop technology. The students showcased their pod at the HyperLoop Pod Competition held globally.
What is Hyperloop ?
It is a sophisticated transportation technology. The first to propose this was Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla [electric carmaker in the U.S.] and SpaceX.
Generally, there are two factors that prevent vehicles from moving fast. They are friction and air resistance. The limit the speed achievable by road or rail transport.
Hyperloop technology involves placing magnetic rails within 1-meter wide tubes and placing a vehicle called a pod which is propelled through the tubes. Since it operates through magnetic flotation, there is no chance of friction.
Similarly the inside of the Hyperloop tube is a vacuum. This means air resistance is eliminated.
Researchers have so far been able to drive these hyperloop pods at very high speeds. That means you can travel from Chennai to Bangalore in just one and a half hours.
SpaceX has offered Hyperloop to Virgin One to implement. Virgin HyperLoop One is the first of its kind to be set up in 35 cities in the world between two cities. The two routes to Chennai are special. The first is Chennai-Bangalore and the other is Chennai-Mumbai.
In the final round, students from the Technical University of Munich, Germany won. Their hyperloop pods traveled in excess of 450 km / h.
However, the technical innovation of the IIT students from Chennai caught the attention of SpaceX's chief executive, Elon Musk.