Humans being propelled in electrodynamically levitated capsules through a low-pressure tube at 95 per cent of the speed of sound (around 700mph) may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but could be just decades away from reality.
This is the vision of technology entrepreneur Elon Musk for the future of mass transportation; one that could replace short-haul flights up to distances of 900 miles. It’s the compelling and environmentally sound project known as Hyperloop, which could see journey times between cities like London and Edinburgh cut to just 35 minutes.
British engineering and innovation is in on the action. A team from the University of Edinburgh (HypED), backed by engineering firms RS Components, Cirrus Logic and Costain, will head to California at the end of August to compete against 23 other finalists in an international contest to design a half-scale prototype passenger pod. Each pod will be test-tracked in a one-mile long, six-foot diameter tube at the SpaceX headquarters, Musk’s space exploration enterprise tasked with bringing the concept to fruition.
No engineering endeavour is complete without a name, and the HypED pod, once ready, will be affectionately, or perhaps inevitably, called Poddy McPodface! As yet, the human-sized test dummy that will sit inside the pod remains nameless, and this is your chance to give it an identity.
Send us your suggestions for wild, whacky or just plain ordinary names using the form below, and the HypED team will decide which suits him or her best! As well as the kudos of bringing the dummy to life, the winner will receive a £50 voucher to spend online at uk.rs-online.com.
You can follow the team’s progress here.
This competition has now closed
* Closing date 10am Tuesday 1 August 2017, UK residents aged 18+ only.