Students from across the University are in the finals for a global challenge that will shape the future of transportation in the UK.
The team – called HypED – will build and test a prototype travel pod to help design the futuristic high-speed system, known as the Hyperloop.
The undergraduate students from Edinburgh College of Art, the Business School, Mathematics, Engineering, Law and Informatics are the only UK team to reach the finals of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod II Competition.
The Edinburgh Futures Institute is supporting this remarkable project as it embodies the spirit of collaboration and inventiveness that the Institute aims to nurture and encourage.
The Hyperloop system – the brainchild of billionaire inventor Elon Musk – could allow land-based transportation at speeds of up to 760mph.
Such a system could cut the journey time from Edinburgh to London – currently around four and a half hours by train – to about 35 minutes.
The HypED team has also progressed in a related business competition – Hyperloop One Global Challenge – as one of 35 semi-finalists selected from 2600 entries.
They met the representatives of the UK Treasury in January, who encouraged them to submit a proposal to develop a UK hyper-speed system independent of the competition.
The team are also developing an outreach programme for primary and secondary schools, which would take place in 2018.
Carolina Toczycka, recent Business School graduate and HypED Head of Commercial, said: “Demonstrating a full-system test is a true milestone for the Hyperloop vision as a whole, and means we are one step closer to it becoming a reality. In addition to our discussions with Hyperloop One, HypED is also working with the UK government, local councils and companies to build a business case for a British Hyperloop system that is sustainable economically, socially and environmentally.”