Deccan Chronicle

IIT Madras builds prototype for next gen transport

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: March 5, 2019 | Updated on: March 5, 2019

Avishkar Hyperloop is only Indian team shortlisted for Space X competition.

 IIT Madras.

IIT Madras.

Chennai: Avishkar Hyperloop, a student team from IIT Madras has successfully built a prototype hyperloop pod that would take just 25 minutes to travel from Chennai to Bangaluru.

It is the only Indian team to enter into the final of International Hyperloop Pod Competition organised by Elon Musk’s Space X.

Hyperloop is being hailed as the fifth mode of transportation that can move people and freight quickly. Passengers or cargos are loaded into the hyperloop pod and accelerated gradually using electric propulsion through a low-pressure (vacuum) tube.

The prototype pod built by the IIT-M students is likely to achieve 400 to 450 kmph during the finals at Los Angeles in the US.

There are 1,600 teams participated in the first round. After several rounds, only 22 teams are shortlisted for the finals.

"Ours is the only Indian team to qualify for the finals. Rest of the teams is from Europe and US," said Pranit Mehta, head, marketing and sponsorship programme, Avishkar Loop.  

"We need to build a fully functional prototype vehicle. The twenty-two teams that would take part in finals need to take their prototype pods and run it through the vacuum tube at the Space X’s headquarters in California," he added.

The travel in hyperloop can dramatically reduce the travel time between the cities.

"We are working on technologies like Magnetic Levitation and Linear Induction Motors, which can help reduce inter-city travel times drastically. For instance, Chennai - Bangalore travel time would just take 25 minutes via hyperloop instead of five hours through a train," said Suyash Singh, a PG student and head of Avishkar Hyperloop team.

He further said it would be convenient, affordable and environmentally friendly.

For the competition, the students aim to achieve speeds over 400 to 450 km per hour in a distance of approximately 1.5km.

Suyash Singh described the funding as one of the major issue faced by the student team during the design and development of the pod.

"Our design is very safe - other teams focused on speed of the vehicle whereas we gave equal focus to safety," Pranit Mehta said.

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