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Meet the Students Trying to Make the Dream of a Hyperloop a Reality

The real story of the hyperloop's origins and its future.

by Motherboard Staff
Dec 13 2018, 7:30pm

Image: Motherboard

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It’s the 21st century and we’re still traveling like it’s the 20th. Cars and trains shaped the modern world, but we can do better. The hyperloop, in particular, could connect the world and allow people to make trips between major cities in a fraction of the time.

EPFLoop, an international team of 25 students working out of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, are trying to make that dream a reality. The group is building hyperloop pods for SpaceX’s annual competition. This year, they took third place, but they’re already working on 2019.

“The hyperloop combines all of the advantages of our current modes of transport that we know today—it’s on demand, it’s direct, it’s energy efficient, it’s emission free, it would shrink distances between cities, between countries, between continents, in a way that has never been done before,” Karine Chammas, business lead for EPFLoop told Motherboard.

The hyperloop would be a train-style transportation system that connects distances through a series of pressurized tubes. The pods in those tubes would travel along a magnetized track that hurls objects along at high speeds. If it works, passengers could travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 40 minutes. It’s the speed of flight for the cost of trucking. If the loops get built, it could revolutionize travel.

“Imagine a world in the future that is smaller, greener, and connects people in a way that we’ve never witnessed before,” Chammas said.

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