Public Transportation at 745 MPH

© TUM Hyperloop

In the next years, the topic of effective and sustainable transportation will become increasingly important. Global technological trends change our daily mobility practices. One of these trends in the field of traffic development is the hyperloop. TUM Hyperloop is a project from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and was launched in 2015 as a student initiative. The goal is to develop a climate-neutral high-speed ground transportation system based on the hyperloop concept.

Speeding Things Up

The hyperloop is a high-speed transportation system in which pods glide in a partially evacuated tube at almost the speed of sound. The transportation system is based on a concept by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX. The system consists of closed and evacuated tubes which can connect transportation hubs in large urban areas. The pods operate at high-speed due to the contactless levitation and propulsion systems as well as the low aerodynamic drag. Furthermore, the energy for the transportation system can be generated using renewable energy sources, such as solar panels.

Mini Interview with TUM Hyperloop Project Lead Gabriele Semino

Will you tell us a bit about your project and what you’re proud of with it?

Semino: The TUM Hyperloop project aims at developing an ultra-high-speed ground transportation system inspired by Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept. The team has started working on this technology several years ago by taking part in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. After winning every edition of the competition with the fastest pod in the race, we are now planning to build the first technology demonstrator for passenger transport in full-scale. I am proud of the team’s success and of the consistently high technical standards of our prototypes.

What do you envision as the future of urban transportation?

Semino: In a future transportation system, it is necessary that we have ultra-high-speed links between large urban areas using exclusively renewable energy sources, in order to provide people with a faster and more sustainable way of travel. We therefore need to overcome today’s limitations of trains and airplanes. This is where an hyperloop system would come into play.

Here Comes the Prototype

In July 2019, the TUM Hyperloop team won the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod competition for the fourth time in a row. Currently, the Department of Aerospace and Geodesy of the Technical University of Munich announced a research program where former members of the project and students will continue their research on the hyperloop system on behalf of the university. With the support of the Bavarian State Government, they are currently planning the construction of a 24-meter test tube and a prototype of a hyperloop pod.

With this technology, door-to-door travel time can be significantly reduced compared to current travel connections. Elon Musk’s concept assumes the target speed for a fully functional hyperloop to be 1,200 km/h or 745 mph.

Further information about the project can be found at 

Join TUM Hyperloop’s Project Lead Gabriele Semino for his Innovation Spotlight on the hyperloop at the FUTURE FORUM: Building Biopolis on October 16. Register at