What is Gatorloop?
Gatorloop is the University of Florida's entry into the Hyperloop competition sponsored by SpaceX. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, intends Hyperloop to be the future of human transportation: incredibly fast (up to 750 mph, making a 6 hour commute into a 30 minute ride) and highly efficient (powered by solar energy). The competition focuses on the design of the transport pod itself, and out of 1500 teams worldwide last year, we were one of the 22 teams who have made it through to the final round! In January 2017 traveled out to SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, to perform tests on our pod. This year, we are one of the 47 teams who have made it through to the Final Design Stage.
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What is the Hyperloop?
Hyperloop is a disruptive and completely revolutionary high-speed ground transportation system proposed by SpaceX and Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk. Incorporating capsules that can carry both passengers and cargo with reduced-pressured tubes, the pods will ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors. As the capsules will be traveling in a low pressure environment with little to no friction they will be able to reach transonic velocities, making a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles a 30 minute commute. The system will also run almost entirely on solar power, making it the greenest method of transportation available. In large cities like New Delhi and Beijing where choking pollution is a major population problem, this technology will be a game changer. Read more about the Hyperloop concept here.
How does the competition work?
Announced in June 2015, SpaceX launched an open innovation competition geared towards university students and independent engineering teams worldwide, to design and build the best Hyperloop pod. After several deadlines and months of round-the-clock work, the teams met at Texas A&M on January 29-30 for Design Weekend, the first major cull. Out of the 115 teams that made it to the design weekend (representing 27 US states and 20 countries) only 22 teams made it to the final round, and we are one of them! To support the final stage in the competition, SpaceX is constructing a one-mile test track adjacent to their Hawthorne, California headquarters. Teams will be able to test their half-scaled pods during a competition weekend at the track, currently targeted for January 27-29th 2017. May the best pod win!
WHO is Gatorloop?
Founded at the University of Florida, the Gatorloop team consists of undergraduate and graduate level engineering students (and one business student!) focusing on different branches of the industry. This diversity solidifies our team because with a project as involved as the Hyperloop, there’s always going to be an opportunity to utilize a member’s skills set. Even though we are engineer students with different academic objectives, we all have one goal in common: to create the most functional, effective, and revolutionary Hyperloop pod system. Learn more about us on our Team page.