WHAT IS HYPERLOOP
TUM HYPERLOOP
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What is Elon Musk's Hyperloop? How does Hyperloop work? What is TUM Hyperloop working on? Find the answers below.

What is Hyperloop

Hyperloop is an ultra-high-speed ground transportation system for passenger and cargo proposed as a concept by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, in a white paper back in 2013.

The system consists of sealed and partially evacuated tubes, connecting mobility hubs in large metropolitan areas, and pressurized vehicles, usually called pods, which can move at very high speeds, thanks to contactless levitation and propulsion systems as well as to the low aerodynamic drag. With this system the door-to-door travel time on medium-range distances can be considerably reduced compared to current connections. 

Moreover, with fully-electric operations the system aims at being climate-neutral.

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Climate-Neutral

With fully-electric and efficient operations, the system aims at being climate-neutral over the course of its life cycle.

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City Center to City Center

By connecting mobility hubs in large metropolitan areas the door-to-door travel time is considerably reduced.

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Ultra-High Speeds

Contactless levitation and propulsions systems as well as the low pressure environment allow the pod to travel efficiently at ultra-high speeds.

TUM Hyperloop

In 2015 a student initiative was founded at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) to develop and build prototypes for the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competitions. Over the last half decade the team has won all editions of the event and gathered extensive experience in the field of ultra-high-speed ground transportation.

In 2019 the Technical University of Munich, working closely together with the successful student initiative NEXT Prototypes, has launched the ambitious TUM Hyperloop program with the aim to design and build a full-scale ultra-high-speed ground transportation system, based on the ideas of the Hyperloop concept. The program perfectly combines the expertise of the various excellent research institutes of TUM with the ingenuity and motivation of the students and young researchers in the team.

To fulfill its goals, the team is working hard both on developing the necessary technology and its components as well as on investigating and optimizing the system as a whole, making sure that aspects such as safety and economical feasibility are considered. In particular, a 24 meter long demonstrator including a full-scale pod is currently in development and it is going to be built and put into operation in 2021.

FAQ section

Find out more about the Hyperloop system and what we are up to below. Please be aware that the answers are based on our current state of knowledge and might be updated in the future without notice.

What is Hyperloop?

Hyperloop is an ultra-high-speed ground transportation system for passenger and cargo proposed as a concept by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, in a white paper back in 2013. It consists of partially evacuated tubes and passenger or cargo pods moving at very high speeds.

How does Hyperloop work?

The Hyperloop system consists of sealed and partially evacuated tubes, connecting mobility hubs in large metropolitan areas, and pressurized vehicles, usually called pods, which can move at very high speeds, thanks to contactless levitation and propulsion systems as well as to the low aerodynamic drag.

What are the advantages of Hyperloop?

Thanks to the ultra-high speeds of the Hyperloop system the door-to-door travel time on medium-range distances can be considerably reduced compared to current connections. Moreover, with fully-electric operations the system aims at being climate-neutral.

For which distances will Hyperloop be optimized?

The high speeds make the Hyperloop ideal for medium to long routes between large metropolitan areas. Currently considered routes are generally between 200 and 1500 km in length.

Can Hyperloop be connected to current modes of transportation?

The key to reducing the door-to-door travel time is to embed Hyperloop in the current mobility landscape and therefore place stations in existing mobility hubs. This will avoid long rides to the airports and enables a fast and direct transportation.

Is Hyperloop for passengers or for cargo?

Both. Hyperloop pods can be designed to transport both cargo and passengers.

Is Hyperloop above ground or underground?

It depends. The Hyperloop route will be above or below ground depending on a number of factors.

What is TUM Hyperloop?

TUM Hyperloop is a program of the Technical University of Munich and NEXT Prototypes e.V. that aims at developing a climate-neutral ultra-high-speed ground transportation system. Previously, the TUM Hyperloop student initiative (founded as WARR Hyperloop) has taken part in the international SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition, winning every one of its four editions and currently holding the speed record at 482 km/h.

How long has TUM Hyperloop been active?

The Hyperloop initiative at TUM was founded by students with the name WARR Hyperloop back in 2015, shortly after the announcement of the first SpaceX Hyperloop Competition. Since 2018, the initiative has been known with the current name TUM Hyperloop.

How did TUM Hyperloop perform in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition?

TUM Hyperloop has won every SpaceX Hyperloop Competition to date, always bringing the fastest pod to the race. Here are the detailed results:


Competition No.DateResult
1January 29, 2017Top speed: 94km/h
Main Prize for Fastest Pod + Innovation Award for “Best Performance in Flight”
2August 27, 2017Top speed: 324 km/h
Main Prize for Fastest Pod
3July 22, 2018Top speed: 467 km/h
Main Prize for Fastest Pod + Innovation Award
4July 21, 2019Top speed: 482 km/h
Main Prize for Fastest Pod, current Top Speed Record holder
Is TUM Hyperloop working directly with Elon Musk or any of his companies?

No. SpaceX, The Boring Company and Elon Musk have organized the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition from 2015 to 2019, which has served as an amazing platform to develop ideas, test the technology and interact with other students and universities interested in the Hyperloop transportation concept. Besides having taken part in the competition, no other collaboration exists between TUM Hyperloop and the other parties.