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See the Futuristic Pods That Could Change How We Travel

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More than 1,000 students gathered at Texas A&M University on the weekend to compete in SpaceX’s Hyperloop pod competition. The Hyperloop is a theoretical high-speed transit system in which people- or cargo-carrying pods would be loaded into giant low-pressure tubes and sucked along by a large fan at speeds approaching Mach 1.

Just 30 teams won the chance to test their designs on a California test track this summer. See some of the winning designs above.

MIT's team focused on creating a design that is "safe, scalable and feasible."MIT
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This German team's says its pod's most unique feature is "the big compressor on the front, which considerably reduces the drag and will assure that the pod is scalable."Technische Universität München
Carnegie Mellon's team says its design "makes clever use of stored air . . . to drive pneumatic actuation assemblies within the pod while also providing a major safety feature."Carnegie Mellon University
Lehigh's design "strives to create the optimal end user experience by focusing on creating a unique ride that is comfortable, stable, economical, and accessible to all."Lehigh University
Auburn's pod "utilizes Arx Pax Hover Engines for magnetic levitation, a mechanical landing gear, and aircraft fuselage structural design."Auburn University
Purdue's Team designed a carbon fiber structure that uses air bearings for levitation, permanent magnets and friction brakes for braking, and compressed air tanks for thrust.Purdue University
The University of Cincinnati's pod is "scalable, efficient and modular which employs counter-rotating fans for air bypass, dual fail-safe braking mechanisms and magnetic levitation."University of Cincinnati
This Japanese design is "able to levitate magnetically at stationary, have multiple fault tolerances for each subsystem and maintain minimal impact to the track."Keio University
The University of Wisconsin's pod "is designed from the ground up to be completely fail-safe and passenger friendly; it can stop within 200 feet with no power required."University Wisconsin Madison
The University of Maryland and Rutgers University joint team's pod, Prometheus, "uses a unique geometry of permanent magnets to induce levitation as the speed of the pod increases."University Maryland Rutgers University
The University of Florida's team "chose to keep a simple design, using wheels, optimizing speed and performance."University of Florida
The Egyptian school's team used "a single-sided linear induction motor for propulsion and air-bearing-slider mechanism for levitation."Cairo University
The Irvine team says that "out of the top five teams from design weekend, HyperXite is the only one utilizing a pneumatic levitation system." University of California Irvine
The Virginia Tech team is using "Halbach arrays used for levitation, stability, and braking, as well as a cold-gas thruster the pushes us faster than the competition."Virginia Tech
The Oral Roberts team is keeping costs low by using "in-house manufacturing and building our own systems rather than buying off the shelf components."Oral Roberts University
This Canadian team "aimed at simplicity and ease of manufacture."University of Waterloo
The University of Toronto's team says that "by leveraging our team's design and fabrication experience with carbon fiber, we've created a pod that's exceptionally lightweight, yet strong enough to take intense loads."University of Toronto

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