Meet the Edinburgh students about to make tech history

Their project could revolutionise public transport


A group of 50 students from the University of Edinburgh are being taken to California to present their plans for Hyperloop – the fastest mode of public transportation ever seen.

The competition, SpaceX, is run by  Tech billionaire Elon Musk. Musk is currently involved in everything from futuristic self driving cars, to artificial intelligence research, as well as space travel. Now, he could be working with a group of Edinburgh students.

The future has landed.

Hyperloop could be a revolutionary step forwards in how we travel. It would work by shooting a capsule through a tube that would connect two cities. The capsule would be travelling at 650mph – making it faster than most commercial planes.

This would mean that the journey from Edinburgh to London would take just 35 minutes. 

How is this even possible?

It works by a having almost no air resistance, allowing the capsule to reach much higher speeds. This is because it will travel in an air tight vacuum, with the capsule itself magnetically levitating above the ground, meaning that there is very little resistance at all, from either the ground or the air.

This gives ridiculous results, as team member and business student Carolina Toczycka stated:

‘You imagine the library and then old college, and then that distance we could cover it in one second’.

Adam Anyszewski, co-founder of the project, called Hyperloop the alternative to the UK’s “dated transport system”.

“High maintenance costs and difficulties upgrading the network, lead us to believe that a new alternative approach is the way to go.”

The University of Edinburgh team, HypeED, have done extraordinarily well in this competition so far, even winning an award for their design of modularity and passenger experience last year in competition last year in Texas, which is on display in Teviot.

Their success may be to do with the fact that HypeED is an interdisciplinary team made up of Engineers, Economists, and Business students. The different angles and diversified interests lead to a more “comprehensive and compelling set of ideas” according to Adam. He believes that if the team was purely made up of Engineers, attracting the interest of politicians and investors would be an even greater challenge.

Signed by  Elon Musk

This year, they have been invited out to California again, being one of only two teams of student and non students in the UK and one in 11 in Europe to reach this latter stage of the competition. In the summer they will even get to test out their prototype capsule on a track. They’ll be competing against the likes of MIT and Harvard, however, so whilst it won’t be an easy feat, it’s certainly one of the most interesting and exciting competitions being run at the moment.

“We want to inspire students to pursue their own ideas”, Adam stated, “and perhaps even contribute to our own project”.

If you’re as inspired, shocked and confused as I am, this team of geniuses is holding an event on Thursday at room G.03 in 50 George Square, making their case for their version of the Hyperloop.