Course Content last updated on September 21, 2020

The Hyperloop Pod Competition is an annual competition sponsored by SpaceX in 2015–2019 where a number of students and non-student teams are participating to design—and for some, build—a subscale prototype transport vehicle to demonstrate technical feasibility of various aspects of the Hyperloop concept. The competitions have been open to participants globally, although all competitions and judging has occurred in the United States.

The 2020 competition is planned on a much longer 10 km (6.2 mi) track, ten times as long as the 1 km track used in the first several years of the annual competition

Learn the fundamentals, feasibility, and potential of this revolutionary mode of transportation, which is as fast as an airplane with the ease and energy of a train system.

SpaceX is revolutionizing terrestrial transportation through its Hyperloop services. The company currently provides these services to innovators and universities across the world interested in high-speed transportation technology and solutions. The Hyperloop system built by SpaceX at its headquarters in Hawthorne, California is approximately one mile in length with a six foot outer diameter.



SpaceX announced the Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2015. The competition’s goal is to support the development of functional prototypes and encourage innovation by challenging student teams to design and build the best high-speed pod. The first three competitions were held in January 2017, August 2017, and July 2018 and were the first of their kind anywhere in the world.


Based on these successes, SpaceX moved forward with the fourth installment: the 2019 Hyperloop Pod Competition. As with previous competitions, the competition was judged solely on one criteria: maximum speed with successful deceleration (i.e. without crashing). All pods were self-propelled. The key updates to the rules for the 2019 competition were the following:
  1. Teams used their own communications system. SpaceX did not provide an on-pod communications system, otherwise known as the Network Access Panel (NAP).
  2. Pods were designed and tested to propel themselves within 100 feet of the far end of the tube before stopping. This could take the form of a single main run to that point or a “slow crawl” after the pod’s main run was completed.

The below teams were selected to compete in the 2019 Hyperloop Pod Competition.

Avishkar Indian Insitute of Technology Madras
Badgerloop University of Wisconsin – Madison
Delft Hyperloop Delft University of Technology
EPFLoop EPFL – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
HYPED The University of Edinburgh
Hyperloop at Virginia Tech Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Hyperloop UPV Universitat Politècnica de València
Hyperlynx University of Colorado – Denver
HyperXite University of California – Irvine
Midwest Hyperloop Purdue University; University of Cincinnati; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
MIT Hyperloop II MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology; University of Texas at Austin
OneLoop University of California – Davis
Paradigm Hyperloop Northeastern University; Memorial University of Newfoundland; College of the North Atlantic
Queen’s Hyperloop Design Team Queen’s University
SLOLoop California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo
Swissloop ETH Zurich
TUM Hyperloop Technical University of Munich
UMD Loop University of Maryland
UNSW Hyperloop The University of New South Wales
uWinLoop & SCCLoop University of Windsor; St. Clair College
Washington Hyperloop University of Washington
Previous competitions results can be found below:
Event Award
Hyperloop Pod Competition I
(January 2017)
Technical University of Munich (WARR Hyperloop) – Top Speed (58 mph)
Delft University (Delft Hyperloop) – Best Overall Design
Hyperloop Pod Competition II
(August 2017)
Technical University of Munich (WARR Hyperloop) – Top Speed (201 mph)
Northeastern University; Memorial University of Newfoundland & Labrador (Paradigm Hyperloop) – 63 mph
ETH Zurich (Swissloop) – 25 mph
Hyperloop Pod Competition III
(July 2018)
Technical University of Munich (WARR Hyperloop) – Top Speed (284 mph)
Delft University (Delft Hyperloop) – 88 mph
EPFL – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – 52 mph
Hyperloop Pod Competition IV Technical University of Munich (TUM Hyperloop) – Top Speed (288 mph)
ETH Zurich (Swissloop) – 160 mph
EPFL – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – 147 mph
Delft University (Delft Hyperloop) – 125 mph
During the competitions, the following schools have received Innovation Awards:
Delft University (Delft Hyperloop), Irish universities (Éirloop), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT Hyperloop), St. John’s High School (Team HyperLift), Technical University of Munich (WARR Hyperloop), University of Maryland (UMD Loop), University of Oldenburg and University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer (HyperPodX), Universitat Politècnica de València (Hyperloop UPV), University of Texas at Austin (Texas Guadaloop), University of Washington (Washington Hyperloop), and University of Wisconsin-Madison (Badgerloop).
Note: This competition is a SpaceX event. SpaceX has no affiliation with any Hyperloop companies, including but not limited to those frequently referenced by the media.

Is Hyperloop really worth the hype? Is this passenger pod levitating in a vacuum tube a viable alternative to curb the environmental impact of current modes of transport?

This revolutionary and more sustainable mode of transportation for passengers or freight can reach speeds of over 1000 kilometers per hour (600mph), decreasing travel time significantly. For example, one could go from Amsterdam to Paris in 30 minutes instead of 4 hours, or from New York to Washington in 25 minutes instead of 3 hours.

Have you ever wondered how levitation works? How would passengers feel? What will infrastructure costs be?  Is the Hyperloop concept technically and commercially viable?

Regardless of your background, this course will teach you how this technology works and will prove why it is worth investing in. Key topics include the core concepts behind Hyperloop, current developments in the technology, implementation, standardization and the future solutions Hyperloop will offer and the challenges it faces.

Through discussions with fellow participants and critical thinking you will form your own vision and develop your own ideas about this exciting new technology and its future.

This course is for anyone interested in the Hyperloop concept. For those seeking more in-depth knowledge, or wanting to pursue a career or conduct research in this field, the course provides additional resources.

This course, designed by the Delft Hyperloop Dream Team (winners of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2017 and runners up in 2018), has been recently updated with the latest research and more in-depth information about topics such as levitation, propulsion, implementation, economics, network and more. This award-winning team consists of TU Delft students, international experts and partner companies who will also share their expertise.

What you’ll learn

  • Understand the need for Hyperloop
  • Grasp the basic technical concepts of Hyperloop
  • Recognise the key hurdles for Hyperloop in the future
  • Develop your own ideas for Hyperloop
  • Gain more in-depth (technical) knowledge about Hyperloop by taking part in the extra activities or choosing the topics that you would like to learn in more detail.
  • Recognise challenges for Hyperloop implementation and develop a plan to tackle them.


  • Week 1: Relevance and basic principles of Hyperloop
  • Week 2: Levitation, Propulsion and Braking
  • Week 3: Passenger pod: interior, exterior, communication and passenger experience —design your own pod
  • Week 4: Hyperloop infrastructure, safety and public acceptance, design your own safe haven
  • Week 5: Network, politics and economic potential
  • Week 6: Course wrap-up and feedback
  • Extra: Take part in the Hyperloop Challenge!

Course Curriculum

General Information
Intent to compete
Preliminary Design Briefing
Final Design Package
Final Design Presentations
Safety Package
Pod Requirements
Pod Loading
Pod Launch
Pod Unloading

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