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Inside Berkeley Hyperloop

NI Employee (retired)


I received an email from the Berkeley Hyperloop team recently. They had just returned from the first SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in California and were writing their sponsors with an update. (I was already impressed that they took time to do that!)

 Hyperloop at SpaceX competition

Photo courtesy of Berkeley Hyperloop team 


Their email expresses what we, here at NI, see all the time in our customers and believe to be a requirement for innovative engineering. Innovators must be able to fail fast and fail often. They must be able to see the intricacies of complex problems and be inspired by the thought of possible solutions. They must not shy away from the unknown. Instead, they're thrilled to have the chance to know something first and share it with the rest of us.


The team gave me permission to share their email. I'll let them speak for themselves.


Hi Brooke, Glenn, and Eric!


I hope you’re doing well! I wanted to personally give you a huge thank you for everything you’ve done to support the Berkeley Hyperloop team during this first SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition! Being able to use the NI cRIO has been absolutely critical to our pod performance in flight, and we’re hugely grateful to have come so far since the beginning of our journey.


At the competition, while we were unable to test the pod in the Hyperloop tube due to time constraints and an unexpected issue in our pneumatic system, we passed all of the functional tests we had time to run and learned a lot from SpaceX’s feedback on our pod design. The team had a great time and gained some valuable experience that we will put to good use in our upcoming design/build cycle!! 


While the competition results weren’t what we had hoped, we’re determined to improve our pod to go above and beyond SpaceX’s standards, and we now have a clear idea of what we need to accomplish to get there.


For the future, we are planning to take on the challenge of improving our pod’s resistance to vibration, in addition to performing a full proof test of the pod cabin at vacuum pressure, which will validate our overall monocoque design for pressurization. This will also entail a major redesign of our undercarriage for vibration and active control, which we plan to spend the next year perfecting for next winter’s competition!


Again, thank you so much for your support of the team, and I’d love to continue our partnership as we take on this next year, with more experience and a clear path forward.



Tyler Chen

Berkeley Hyperloop

Project Manager



Innovators from all over are participating. I'm inspired by all the unversities I see that I've had the privilege of interacting with, namely Texas A&M, MIT, The University of Texas, TU DELFT and more.


Follow the Berkely Hyperloop team and others on their journey. You may be riding in their pods someday!


Berkeley Hyperloop team

Photo courtesy of Berkeley Hyperloop team 


Get the history of the competition in this Fortune Tech article.>>

See the cRIO platform the team is using.>>