In an event attended by over 200 people, the MIT Hyperloop II team offered the public a chance to see the technology under the hood of what one day may determine the design of future human travel.
With MIT Museum capacity set at 100, a line of people wrapped around the block up Massachusetts Avenue. The event was live-streamed for those outside, and many generous folks exited to give access to others.
Introducing the evening, Prof. J. Kim Vandiver, Forbes Director of the Edgerton Center, talked about founding the Center 27 years ago to primarily support student initiatives. Today, guided by students, the Center supports a dozen or so student-led teams, including MIT Hyperloop II, with seed funding, shop space, technical advice, and fiscal management.
Team captain, Vik Parthiban, a researcher and graduate student at the Media Lab, warmly thanked his 40-member team—some who had pulled all-nighters to prepare the Hyperloop for the unveiling—comprised of graduate researchers and undergraduate students from eight MIT departments.
Originally envisioned by Elon Musk in a 2013 white paper, the Hyperloop has the potential to achieve higher passenger throughput and lower per-passenger energy consumption than traditional forms of transportation. Parthiban has led the development of the first Hyperloop vehicle that uses air bearing technology at high speeds.
As finalists in the competition, the team will travel to the SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California this July to compete in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition.