WVXU: UC makes finals of 'boring' Hyperloop competition

Boring? Hardly. UC at forefront of new transportation.

WVXU talked to University of Cincinnati students about making the finals of Elon Musk's international tunnel-boring competition for Hyperloop.

Hyperloop UC is among 12 finalists in the race to build more efficient boring technology for high-speed travel tubes.

The Not-A-Boring Competition asks UC and other teams to build a 30-meter tunnel with a roughly 18-inch diameter through which a remote-controlled car will travel.

Hyperloop consists of a sealed tube in which a pod elevated by magnets is propelled at speeds of more than 700 mph through a partial vacuum.

The goal of the new competition is to develop the faster but accurate tunneling technology needed to realize the dream of high-speed Hyperloop transportation. Teams will be judged on how fast they build the tunnel and how accurate the tunnel navigation is to its underground target.

I could get from Cincinnati to Chicago in 22 minutes.

Jake Gerbracht, Hyperloop UC

UC will compete against teams from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Switzerland.

Hyperloop UC beat out nearly 400 other teams in the technical design review to make the final 12 expected to compete this summer. Hyperloop UC faculty adviser Laura Pinelo told WVXU the team overcame the hurdles of working remotely on the project during the COVID-19 pandemic to make the finals.

UC students have spent years developing the new transportation. Hyperloop UC competed against international teams in 2017 at SpaceX in California.

"I could get from Cincinnati to Chicago in 22 minutes," Hyperloop UC President Jake Gerbracht told WVXU.

Musk is pursuing high-speed Hyperloop routes across the United States.

Listen to the WVXU story.

Read more about Hyperloop UC.

Elon Musk talks to a group of UC students with palm trees behind him.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk talks to UC students during the 2017 Hyperloop competition at SpaceX. Photo/Jay Yocis/UC Creative + Brand