IIT Madras to host India’s First Global Hyperloop Pod Competition

Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras is organizing India’s first Global Hyperloop Pod Competition to increase awareness and enthusiasm about Hyperloop in India. The competition is open globally and the final round will take place in the IIT Madras campus in July 2020.

Called the ‘Indian Hyperloop Pod Competition,’ the objective is to encourage student teams in India and abroad to develop a Hyperloop Pod and compete to build the fastest, most innovative and efficient design and prototype of the relevant technologies in the field. This competition is open to all the engineering colleges across the world, to ideate, design and implement their ideas for the Hyperloop Pods. Further information can be obtained from the event website – https://ihpc2020.web.app/

Hyperloop is the 5th mode of transportation, a high-speed train that travels in a near-vacuum tube. The reduced air resistance allows the capsule inside the tube to reach speeds of more than 1000 km/h, conveying people or objects at high speed while being very efficient, thereby drastically reducing travel times over medium-range distances. Mr. Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla, proposed the idea of Hyperloop to the world in 2013 through a whitepaper ‘Hyperloop Alpha.’

Speaking about this competition, Prof. S.R. Chakravarthy, Faculty Advisor, Avishkar Hyperloop, said, “We are excited at the prospect of hosting this competition at IIT Madras. Hyperloop is a disruptive technology because it can potentially be an inter-city metro. We need to be at the forefront of developing this important technology to move a large number of people in a country like India. The competition is a great way of on-boarding the next generation for this developmental process.”

Student teams will participate to design and build a subscale prototype transport vehicle to demonstrate the technical feasibility of various aspects of the Hyperloop concept. This competition will focus on multiple key aspects involved in designing, manufacturing and testing an Hyperloop Pod. The short-listed teams selected for the final round will have to develop a fully functional prototype of their design for demonstration at Hyperloop Test Track in IIT Madras Campus.

Mr. Elon Musk had been organizing the International Hyperloop Pod Competition for the past few years in Hawthorne, California, through SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company. Team Avishkar from IIT Madras was the only team from Asia to qualify for the finals of 2019 Hyperloop Pod Competition, developing India’s first self-propelled Hyperloop Pod.

A group of previous and current members of Team Avishkar will be contributing in running the Hyperloop Pod competition at IIT Madras. Team Avishkar will not be participating in the July competition as a competitor and will assist in creating a platform for all the participating teams and enable them to gain a crucial and intensive experience in the development of Hyperloop Technology.

The Indian Hyperloop Pod Competition 2020 will comprise a design briefing round and a final practical test round. All the participants will have to provide their intent to compete by March 2020. This will be followed by the first round consisting of design submission in April. These reports will consist of design overview, subsystem details, safety measures and business plan of the Pod. These reports will be judged and evaluated by various distinguished professors and experts in the respective domains.


31 March 2020 Intent to Compete Form Due
20 April 2020 Design Report Due
25 April 2020 Announcement of the Teams that have been shortlisted for the Final Round
9-11 July 2020 Pod Testing and Safety Checks
12 July 2020 Final Runs of all Pods

Based on the evaluation of the submitted design reports, selected teams will be invited for the final round to showcase and test their prototype at IIT Madras from 9-12 July 2020. The teams here would be evaluated on the basis of various factors such as subsystem design, overall aesthetics, business plan amongst many others.

The judges/inspectors for each of the criteria will be one or more members of a panel consisting of professors, alumni and domain experts. The top 3 teams will be awarded finally based on their calculated cumulative score.

This competition will allow the selected teams to run their Pods on an open-air track, which would then eventually scale up to being enclosed in a vacuum tube.